Maloney Statement on Equal Pay Day

Apr 9, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY12) issued the following statement on today’s marking of Equal Pay Day, the day when women’s wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year:

“It’s been nearly 50 years since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act yet we’ve still got a long way to go to make sure women earn equal pay for equal work. Today, a woman earns only 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man nationwide and in New York women make about 84% of men’s earnings according to The American Association of University Women. This needs to change.

“Unequal pay isn’t just a women’s issue—it’s a family issue. When women bring home less, it means there is less for the everyday needs of their families, and ultimately less for women when it comes time for them to receive Social Security.

“I’m proud that Democrats were able to pass, and have President Obama sign, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in January 2009, which restores the right of women to challenge unfair pay in court. But there is more to do.

“Congress needs to pass The Paycheck Fairness Act, which strengthens the Equal Pay Act by closing loopholes and providing effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work.  The House passed the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2008 and again in 2009 but both times Republicans blocked the measure in the Senate.  Similarly, in 2012, Republicans in both the House and Senate voted to block the bill.  In 2013, it’s long past time for Republicans to finally stand up for America’s women and support paycheck fairness.”


Background

Equal Pay Day marks the day on which a woman’s wages are equal to those earned by a man in the previous year.   Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men's and women's wages.  At current pay scales, women must work an additional quarter to be compensated in the same amount as a man doing comparable work.

In the 111th Congress, Rep. Maloney became the first woman to chair the Joint Economic Committee. Under her tenure, JEC issued a report entitled, “Invest in Women, Invest in America: A Comprehensive Review of Women in the U.S. Economy.” This comprehensive report included research done by the Committee, testimony from several hearings, and GAO reports assessing the detrimental gender wage gap for part-time workers and older Americans as well as wider discussions of women’s continued under-representation in management level positions.