April 12, 2011 marks Equal Pay Day for 2011, the length of time women must work into 2011 to make what men earned in 2010. “ Almost 50 years after enactment of the Equal Pay Act, equal pay for equal work remains elusive for millions of working women,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. “In fact, over the past 10 years, the pay gap has remained virtually unchanged. Today in America, women are paid an average of 80 cents for every dollar paid to men. The pay gap is even larger for women of color, with black women earning about 70 cents, and Latinas about 60 cents, of every dollar paid to all men.”
The Labor Department estimates that the average full-time working woman earns $150 less per week, which adds up to $8,000 less per year and $380,000 over a working lifetime. Solis pledged increased enforcement of wage discrimination laws, creating more options for workplace flexibility to allow balancing work and family life and increased education resources to help employers comply with the law.
“Equal pay is not just a women’s issue. It’s not just a family issue. It’s a recovery issue. I am committed to finding commonsense solutions to closing the pay gap once and for all so that our nation will be a more fair and equitable place for everyone,” said Solis.
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