House Passes Fair Wage Legislation

Friday, January 9th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Washington DC – Friday, the House of Representatives passed legislation to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R. 11) and the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 12) will close a number of loopholes and enact reforms to make it more difficult for employers to pay workers less because of their sex or their race.

“All workers deserve to be treated fairly, and deserve equal pay for equal work,” said Congressman Jim Oberstar. “The legislation passed by the House today makes it more difficult for employers who discriminate to hide behind legal technicalities.”

More than 40 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, women continue to be paid less than men for performing the same job. On average, women earn just 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

“Pay equity impacts working families; 41 percent of women are the sole wage earner for their families and many more households are dependent on two incomes to make ends meet,” said Oberstar. “Wage discrimination lowers the incomes of working people, and makes e it more difficult to buy groceries, pay bills and send children to school; it is an illegal practice with real victims.”

The House of Representatives approved identical legislation last year, but these bills were not able to gain the filibuster-proof majority necessary for passage in the Senate. “This is a new session of Congress, and there will be more support for this legislation,” said Oberstar.

(From Office of Jim Oberstar)

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