You know what I love? When two things go together perfectly. Cake and ice cream. Wine and cheese. Chocolate and…well, OK, chocolate pretty much goes perfectly with everything.
Two bills that are expected to see some action in Congress this month, The Fair Minimum Wage Act and Paycheck Fairness go together perfectly, too. That’s because they’re both critical issues for women – and both will help women achieve fair pay.
The Fair Minimum Wage Act would gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, increase the tipped minimum cash wage from $2.13 per hour to 70 percent of the minimum wage, and index these wages to keep pace with inflation. Raising the minimum wage would help women achieve fair pay:
- The average wage gap in states with a minimum wage at or above $8.00 (18.1 cents) is 22 percent smaller than the average wage gap in states with a $7.25 minimum wage (23.3 cents).
- In 2012, seven of the ten states with the narrowest wage gaps had minimum wages above the federal level of $7.25 per hour. Among the ten states with the widest wage gaps, only two had minimum wages above $7.25.
- The White House Council of Economic Advisers projects that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 and indexing it to inflation could close the wage gap by five percent.
The Paycheck Fairness Act strengthens the Equal Pay Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act would help women achieve fair pay:
- The Paycheck Fairness Act would improve the remedies workers can seek in wage discrimination cases.
- The Paycheck Fairness Act would prohibit employers from punishing employees for sharing salary information with coworkers.
- The Paycheck Fairness Act would make it easier for victims of wage discrimination to join together as a class to challenge unfair pay.