The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear that women—especially women of color—are the backbone of our nation's economy. Women have kept the economy running as essential workers, breadwinners, and caregivers. But at the same time, they are consistently underpaid and their work is undervalued. Action on equal pay is sorely needed to address these inequities—but Republican Senators have blocked vital legislation, the Paycheck Fairness Act, that would achieve critical progress.
The median annual earnings for women working full time, year-round in 2021 was $51,226, or just 84 percent of men's earnings—with much wider gaps for most women of color. All women—regardless of the number of hours worked during the year—typically made $39,201, or 77 cents compared with each dollar earned by all men. Discrimination is one of the factors contributing to this gap, leading to thousands of dollars in lost wages for women over their career. That's why we need the Paycheck Fairness Act.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen existing equal pay protections, prohibit retaliation against workers who discuss their pay or challenge pay discrimination, limit employer's reliance on salary history, and much more. These robust measures would bring us one step closer to equal pay.
Women and families cannot afford to wait for equal pay. Tell your senator to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act now.