Senate Republicans Block Passage of Paycheck Fairness Act

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Senate Republicans today filibustered the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation cosponsored by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow that would help reduce gender discrimination in pay. While the measure received a majority of votes, it was once again unable to overcome Republican opposition.

"It is outrageous that in 2014 some in Congress apparently still think that women don't deserve to earn the same amount as a man for doing the same job," said Stabenow. "Women don't get a 23-percent discount at the grocery store or the gas pump, so they shouldn't be getting a discount on their wages, either. We need to give women and their families a fair shot to get ahead in life by making sure that women finally receive equal pay for equal work."

The Paycheck Fairness Act would build on the progress of the Equal Pay Act, passed more than 50 years ago, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first law signed by President Obama after he took office in 2009. The Paycheck Fairness Act would reduce gender discrimination in pay by empowering women to negotiate for equal pay, closing loopholes courts have created in the law, creating strong incentives for employers to obey the laws and strengthening federal outreach and enforcement efforts.

President Obama signed two executive orders yesterday that will help protect the employees of federal contractors from gender discrimination in pay by allowing workers to discuss their wages with one another without fear of retaliation and by requiring contractors to disclose information about wages by gender and race.

According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, gender discrimination in pay costs the average working woman in Michigan $13,125 per year, which is enough to buy 107 weeks worth of food, pay the mortgage and utilities for 11 months, or purchase 3,543 gallons of gas.