Politicians and women’s advocacy groups have recognized April 9 as Equal Pay Day – marking how far into 2013 a woman would have to continue working to match what men earned in 2012.
Women, who make up nearly half the country’s workforce, still earn 23 percent less than men. Over a 40-year career, this pay gap would cost a woman more than $443,000. The wage difference is even greater for African American women and Latinas.
“Wage inequality undermines the promise of fairness and opportunity upon which our country was founded,” said President Obama in a proclamation today. “For families trying to make ends meet, that gap can also mean the difference between falling behind and getting ahead.”
Congressional Democrats are pushing for the passage of the “Paycheck Fairness Act” which would prohibit employers from punishing employees for discussing salary and require companies to prove that pay discrepancies are unrelated to gender. It aims to build upon the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which in 2009 gave workers more time to sue employers after wage discrimination has occurred.
Click here for blog posts from union members, politicians and other advocates on the National Women’s Law Center Equal Pay Day blog carnival.