National Consumers League

Advocacy group asks Senators to allow debate on Paycheck Fairness Act

April 9, 2014

Contact: Ben Klein, National Consumers League (202) 835-3323, benk@nclnet.org 

Washington, DC--Today, the Senate minority stopped the Paycheck Fairness Act from moving forward with a vote of 53-44, stymying the effort to get 60 votes. The nation’s pioneering consumer and labor advocacy organization, the National Consumers League (NCL), is asking the Senate minority to join with the Senate majority and allow debate on the Act.

The Paycheck Fairness Act, which updates the Equal Pay Act of 1963, would give workers stronger tools to fight wage discrimination in the workplace. In order to start discussions on the Act, the Senate needed 60 votes. President Obama took Executive action on equal pay during an event at the White House yesterday.

"Today, a woman is the primary breadwinner in 40 percent of American households. When women receive less pay than their male counterparts, it's a family issue, not only a women's issue,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “We ask all the Senators to support working women and allow debate on this bill.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act would help to combat the gender wage gap by prohibiting employers from punishing employees for sharing salary information with their coworkers, enhancing employees’ ability to learn about wage disparities and to assess whether they are experiencing discrimination.

“It’s wrong that women, today, on average, make only 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. For women of color, the wage gap is even wider; African-American women make only 64 cents, and Hispanic women make only 54 cents,” said Michell McIntyre, Outreach Director of Labor & Worker Rights of NCL.  “In these tough economic times, families need to bring home every dollar they’re entitled to.”

Additional provisions of the Paycheck Fairness Act would require the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to survey available pay data and issue regulations within 18 months requiring employers to submit additional pay data about employees, identified by race, sex, and national origin. These data would enhance the EEOC’s ability to detect violations of law and improve enforcement. 

The Act would also allow employees to receive the same remedies for gender-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subjected to discrimination based on race and ethnicity.

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About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Its mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.