How Much Do You Make? Paycheck Fairness Act Proposed In Congress To Lessen the Gender Wage Gap

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February 4, 2013 ‐ By Ann Brown
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There’s a battle brewing in Congress over fair pay for women. And part of the “Paycheck Fairness Act,” introduced by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), would also prohibit companies from retaliating against workers who discuss salary information. More importantly,the law would also require employers to provide evidence that any pay discrepancies among workers are unrelated to gender, reports The Huffington Post.

If there is transparency in how much workers are paid, employers won’t be able to “hide behind excuses for paying men more,” Mikulski argued in a statement on the Senate floor. The idea is there will be an increased focus on merit, with business results and job performance becoming the primary factor for determining pay.

According to a 2011 study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research cited by USA Today, women earn on average about 82 percent of what men make. And the gender wage gap is even bigger for minority women.

The Paycheck Fairness Act aims to expand the Lilly Ledbetter Act that President Obama signed into law in 2009. The Lilly Ledbetter Act gives workers more flexibility when suing employers over pay discrimination.

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