Press Release

Rep. Castor Votes to Approve the Bipartisan Paycheck Fairness Act

Bill Passes House to Address Inequity in the Workplace, Foster Equal Pay for Equal Work

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Washington, April 15, 2021 | comments
Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor cheered House passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation to strengthen and update the Equal Pay Act of 1963. This bipartisan bill passed the House 217-210¬¬. Castor is a proud co-sponsor of the bill.
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Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor cheered House passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation to strengthen and update the Equal Pay Act of 1963. This bipartisan bill passed the House 217-210­­. Castor is a proud co-sponsor of the bill.

“Fifty-eight years after the enactment of the Equal Pay Act, full-time working women in the United States still earn just 82 cents, on average, for every dollar a man earns, amounting to a yearly gap of $10,157 between full-time working men and women. This money could lift families and provide financial security to hundreds of millions of our neighbors… It is time that we finally sign the Paycheck Fairness Act into law.

“Equal pay is not simply a women’s issue, it is a family issue. When women bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of their families – groceries, rent, childcare, and doctors’ visits. Closing the gap is more critical than ever as families weather a pandemic and money is stretched thin for many. On top of this, women have accounted for an overwhelming majority of jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, including 100 percent of that figure in December. The Paycheck Fairness Act is overdue legislation that will protect and empower women as they reenter the workforce in the days and months ahead. Passing the Paycheck Fairness Act is a critical step in unleashing the full power of not just women in our economy, but to reach the full economic potential of our country. Because when women succeed, we are all better for it!”

The impact of the wage gap grows throughout a woman’s career.  According to the National Women’s Law Center, based on today’s wage gap, a woman who worked full-time, year-round would typically lose $406,280 over a 40-year career.  This woman would have to work almost nine years longer than her male counterpart to make up this lifetime wage gap.  In Florida’s 14th Congressional district, the median annual wages for women is $39,354 compared to $47,760 for men, mirroring the national ratio of 82 cents per dollar, according to the National Partnership for Women & Families.

The wage gap is even larger for women of color:

  • Hispanic women on average earn only 55 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
  • Native American women on average earn only 60 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
  • African American women on average earn only 63 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.

Because of loopholes in the law and weak sanctions for violations, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 has not provided the tools to truly combat unequal pay. 

The Paycheck Fairness Act modernizes and strengthens the Equal Pay Act and brings the country one step closer to ensuring that women receive equal pay for equal work:

  • 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 national origin.
  • 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 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) and the Department of Labor’s tools for enforcing the Equal Pay Act.
  • Provides assistance to 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 seeking salary history in determining future pay, so that pay discrimination does not follow women from job to job.

Since being elected to Congress, U.S. Rep. Castor has consistently cosponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act in the U.S. House.  She is a strong advocate for gender equity, including filing a resolution in 2015 expressing that female athletes should be paid the same as their male counterparts, advocating for equity at U.S. Soccer and urging organizers of world class competitions to actively combat the wage gap.

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