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House Passes Paycheck Fairness Act to Close the Wage Gap for Women

March 27, 2019
Press Release

Bipartisan Bill Ensures Michigan Women Earn Equal Pay for Equal Work

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today applauded the passage of H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act, today in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation, supported by Republicans and Democrats in the House, strengthens and closes loopholes in existing law, including the 1963 Equal Pay Act, to help ensure that women and men get paid the same if they are doing the same work.

“Equal pay is not just a women’s issue, it is a family issue. When women are treated unfairly in the workplace and bring home less pay each day, it means they have less to meet the needs of their families, including putting food on the table, rent, child care and doctor’s visits. Women who make less than men for doing the same work also have far less savings for retirement. We should ensure that our economy works for everyone, and one way we can do that is by ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work,” Congressman Kildee said.

The Paycheck Fairness Act builds upon the landmark Equal Pay Act passed by Congress in 1963 by:

  • Requires employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons. In doing so, it ensures that employers who try to justify paying a man more than a woman for the same job must show the disparity is not sex-based, but job-related and necessary.
  • Bans retaliation against workers who voluntarily discuss or disclose their wages.
  • Ensures women can receive the same robust remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subjected to discrimination based on race and ethnicity.
  • Removes obstacles in the Equal Pay Act to facilitate a wronged worker’s participation in class action lawsuits that challenge systemic pay discrimination.
  • Makes improvements in the Department of Labor’s tools for enforcing the Equal Pay Act.
  • Aids all businesses to help them with their equal pay practices, recognizes excellence in pay practices by businesses, and empowers women and girls by creating a negotiation skills training program.
  • Prohibits employers from relying on salary history in determining future pay, so that pay discrimination does not follow women from job to job.

This bill is supported by a coalition of more than 300 organizations, including the National Women’s Law Center, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Organization for Women, National Committee on Pay Equity, MomsRising, UltraViolet, Center for Law and Social Policy, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, NAACP, League of Women Voters, U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, AFL-CIO, SEIU, United Steelworkers, AFSCME, American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, American Psychological Association, Anti-Defamation League, and many more.

Congressman Kildee has introduced this legislation in every Congress since he took office.

Action on H.R. 7 today in the House is the latest action by a new Democratic majority to make Congress work for the people. In recent weeks, A Democratically-elected House acted to pass other key pieces of legislation, including:

  • H.R. 1, the For the People Act, to expand voting rights for Americans, reduce the dominance of big money in politics, and ensure that public officials work for the people, not special interests.
  • H.R. 8, Bipartisan Background Checks Act, long-overdue gun violence prevention legislation that requires background checks for gun sales and transfers to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and bad actors. 

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