Paycheck Fairness Act

What is the S. 270, the Paycheck Fairness Act?

Introduced by Senator Murray in January 2019, S. 270 will amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes. It will amend equal pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to restrict the use of the bona fide factor defense to wage discrimination claims, enhance non-retaliation prohibitions, make it unlawful to require an employee to sign a contract or waiver prohibiting the employee from disclosing information about the employee's wages, and increase civil penalties for violations of equal pay provisions.

Why do we need the Paycheck Fairness Act?

The bill directs the Department of Labor to establish and carry out a grant program for negotiation skills training for girls and women, conduct studies to eliminate pay disparities between men and women, and make available information on wage discrimination to assist the public in understanding and addressing such discrimination. All of these are critical to understanding where the root causes of this problem is, and tackling them. 


This will close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act by increasing the penalties for wage discrimination and making sure that employers determine wages by experience, training, and education rather than sex, directing federal agencies to collect and publicly share data on compensation discrimination, and barring retaliation against women who seek information on pay disparity in their workplace.


When the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, women were on average paid 58 cents for every dollar earned by men. While there has been continual progress made since then, the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings even decreased since 2017 according to a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.


Previous years numbers from the National Organization for Women show that compared to white, non-hispanic men’s dollar women make:

  • 61 cents per dollar for Black women

  • 58 cents per dollar for American Indian/Alaskan Native women  

  • 53 cents per dollar for Latinas

  • 77 cents per dollar for white women

  • 85 cents per dollar for Asian American women

According to a study by the Center for American Progress, women working full time in the United States collectively earned an estimated $546.3 billion less than their male counterparts in the one year, and on average earned about $9,585 less than a man since the House passed the comprehensive equal pay legislation.


These earning gaps add to economic burdens facing women and their families. For example, the majority of single parents are women, and being the only source of income for the family and receiving as much as $20,000 less than their male counterparts in a one-year period can be extremely damaging to their family.


Experts estimate that about 38% or more of the wage gap is due to discrimination and its effects.
 

View our issue one-pager here!

What can I do to take action to get this passed?

Call Your Senators. We need to garner more support in the Senate so that we can pass this. Use your power as a constituent to sway their support! Find your Senators and their numbers here!

Here is a sample script to use when calling your Senator: I am a constituent as well as a member of Generation Ratify, the youth-led movement to support Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and advance gender equality. I am calling you about S. 270, the Paycheck Fairness Act.

According to a study by the Center for American Progress, women working full time in the United States collectively earned an estimated $546.3 billion less than their male counterparts in the one year, and on average earned about $9,585 less than a man since the House passed the comprehensive equal pay legislation. S. 270 will amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of pay discrimination on the basis of sex. This will promote economic and social equality. 


We are here to close the wage gap and further economic equality. I urge the Senator to support S. 270. Thank you and have a good day.  

Email Your Senators. As mentioned above, we need to put the pressure on the Senate to pass this. Use this form to send an email straight to your Senators!

Call other organizers to contact their Senators. After contacting your Senators, help mobilize other young people to contact their's by phone-banking our registered members across the country using this phone-bank!

Talk about it on social media. Posting on social media is a great way to not only spread the word and drive people to action, but to also put pressure on our elected officials. Tweet it out by clicking this link!

Get out the vote for pro-gender equality candidates. This election decides the fate of gender equality legislation. We need a pro-gender equality majority in both the House and the Senate. Help us get there by empowering the youth vote and advocating for leaders that value equality for our Elect Equal Rights Campaign.

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