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Congressman Dan Kildee Highlights Importance of Equal Pay for Women in Flint Roundtable Discussion

January 29, 2013
Press Release

Kildee Cosponsors Paycheck Fairness Act in Congress, Which Would Help Close the Wage Gap Between Women and Men

 Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today held a roundtable discussion to discuss the importance of ensuring women in Michigan and around the country receive equal pay for equal work. Congressman Kildee was joined by local-area women who discussed how they have been personally affected by continued wage disparities between men and women.

"The time is long overdue for women to be paid equal pay for equal work. In cities like Flint, Saginaw and Bay City, women still only earn on average 74 cents for every dollar earned by men, which is unacceptable,” said Congressman Kildee. “Women make up nearly half of our workforce, yet they are still paid a disproportionate amount to their male counterparts for doing the same job. This means that women have less for groceries, rent, childcare and the everyday needs of their families.”

In one of his first legislative actions last week, Congressman Kildee cosponsored H.R. 377, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which seeks to close disparities in pay amongst genders and ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work. The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen the Equal Pay Act by:

  • Requiring employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons.
  • Establishing a rule banning retaliation against workers who discuss their wage and salary information.
  • Providing businesses with assistance in equal pay practices, including sharing best practices by other employers.
  • Improving the Department of Labor’s tools for enforcing wage discrimination, including speeding up wage data collection from federal contractors and conducting studies and reviews of wage information data from the private sector.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women in the Fifth Congressional District currently are paid on average only 74 cents for every dollar paid to men, which is 3 cents less than the national wage gap of 77 cents. The wage gap is even more substantial for African-American and Hispanic women in Michigan, who were paid only 65 cents and 56 cents, respectively, to every dollar paid to men who worked full-time, year around. Today also marks the fourth anniversary of the landmark Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which was passed in 2009 and helped to restore the rights of women to challenge unfair pay in court.

“The Lilly Ledbetter Act has helped us make great strides toward workplace equality, but more needs done,” Congressman Kildee said. “In Congress, I will continue to fight for the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Until women receive equal pay for equal work, we will not be the just society we ought to be.”