(Washington, D.C.) The following is a statement of National Women’s Law Center Co-President Marcia Greenberger:
“The Senate’s failure today to muster the votes needed to proceed with an up-or-down vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act is a blow to working women and their families. The Senate came close but fell just two votes short of being able to pass this important law that would make a real difference in women’s ability to get equal pay.
Forty-five years after passage of the Equal Pay Act, it is unacceptable that women still earn, on average, 77 cents to the dollar earned by men. The law needs to be stronger. This persistent pay gap translates to more than $10,000 in lost wages per year for the average female worker.
In this difficult economy, in which nearly 40 percent of mothers are primary breadwinners, women shoulder increased responsibility for supporting their families and cannot afford to have employers discounting their salaries. Among other important provisions, the law would make it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who seek to learn whether they are being paid unfairly.
The Center, through its “Women Are Not WorthLess” campaign, will continue to fight to press Congress to pass this critical legislation, which opinion surveys show has broad public support. We also will work with the Obama Administration as it implements the recommendations of its Equal Pay Task Force, use existing tools to fight pay discrimination, and urge businesses to take steps to ensure that they pay their employees fairly. The Center will not rest until there is equal pay in America.”