Saturday, June 15, 2024

Comentarios from Maria: Equal Pay is Key to our Economy

MC HeadshotApril 8th was declared National Equal Pay Day. This date signifies that a woman has to work until April 8, 2014 (adding all the time worked in 2013) to earn the same as the average earned by a man in 2013.

In addition, women still earn only 77 cents on average for every dollar earned by a man. And for Latinas, the average is even worse, reaching 54 cents for every dollar men earn. On average, this comes to more than $430,000 in compensation lost by women, their family, and our economy during their lifetime.

Women in the United States make up nearly half the country’s workforce.  Women are also the backbone of households with children under 18.

Equal pay is more than just an issue of concern to women. The issue of equal pay should be a priority for the economic security of our families. Indeed, this is an issue that 90 percent of the American public supports.

This week, President Obama took action and signed two Executive Orders to help protect women against discrimination against unfair wages. One executive order prohibits federal contractors from retaliating against employees who choose to discuss their compensation with peers.

Furthermore, the President signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Labor to establish new regulations requiring federal contractors to submit a summary of data on the compensation paid to employees including data based on sex and race, to the Department of Labor.

President Obama and Democrats in Congress continue to fight for the pay equity bill which will strengthen the 1963 Equal Pay Act and thus bring us closer to the equal pay our economy needs.

On the other hand, Republicans remain opposed to raising the minimum wage and continue to block the pay equity bill saying that wage inequality is a myth and not a reality.
You tell that to the millions of women who have lost compensation based on gender discrimination.

This week, the Senate voted to approve the pay equity bill. The bill, which would help to close the gap on equal pay, fell six votes short to pass in the Senate and bring a vote to the House.

Once again, Republicans turned their back on the workers in this country, proclaiming they are not interested in fighting for middle class families.

And while Republicans continue to be an obstacle on equal pay, immigration reform, and their obsession to defeat Obamacare, Democrats continue to fight for women, the Latino community and the rest of the American people.

This piece originally appeared in Spanish in the Washington Hispanic