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Jayapal Co-sponsors Paycheck Fairness Act on Equal Pay Day

WASHINGTON D.C. – Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal co-sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act that was introduced today in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and in the Senate by Washington Senator Patty Murray. The Paycheck Fairness Act strengthens prohibitions against gender-based pay discrimination first created by the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

This legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives eleven times since 1997.

“This bill is a no-brainer,” said Rep. Jayapal. “Women of different races are paid between 54 to 80 percent of what their white, male counterparts receive for doing the exact same job. It is outrageous that gender and racial bias are taking precedent over skill, experience and knowledge when it comes to women’s compensation.”

Congressional Republicans have voted nine times since 2013 to reject the Paycheck Fairness Act, which provides remedies to the pay discrepancies that women face.

DeLauro’s bill prevents employers from retaliating against employees who ask about or share wage information, requires employers to provide bona fide factors for explaining wage discrepancies against women and permits further legal action in gender-based discrimination cases. Additionally, it prohibits employers from seeking the salary history of prospective employees, ensuring that women will start new jobs on an even playing field.

President Donald Trump’s agenda pushes our country in the wrong direction. The president signed a bill on March 27 revoking labor and civil rights protections and workplace safety compliance measures taken by President Obama in the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Order. The 2014 bill laid out paycheck transparency rules and a ban on forced arbitration for harassment or discrimination claims – two issues with major impacts on women in the workplace.

Today, April 4, is marked as Equal Pay Day because it represents the day when women’s wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year. According to a report by the American Association of University Women, the average woman earns $0.80 for every dollar a man earns for the same job. When broken down by race, the gap widens further for women of color. At current rates, Black women and Hispanic women will reach pay parity until until the year 2124 and 2248, respectively.

Jayapal represents Washington State’s 7th District, which encompasses most of Seattle and surrounding areas including Vashon Island, Lake Forest Park, Edmonds and parts of Burien, Shoreline and Normandy Park. She’s a co-chair of the Women’s Working Group on Immigration, Vice Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, and a member of the Democratic Women’s Working Group.