Works by Women

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Paycheck Fairness Act Fails at Procedural Vote

In case you aren’t aware, here’s a press release from the New York Women’s Agenda about the Paycheck Fairness Act. While working for parity for women in theater, Works by Women supports equal pay for all women, in whatever field they endeavor.

Paycheck Fairness Act Fails to Pass Procedural Vote

New York Coalitions Vow to Push for Stronger Local Laws

In a disappointing Senate procedural vote of 58-41, the Paycheck Fairness Act was prevented from moving forward to a floor debate and final vote. Despite widespread support from a coalition of 400 organizations, the White House, and Americans across the country, the Senate fell short of passing historic and necessary legislation to address the persistent gap between men’s and women’s wages.

This missed opportunity for the Senate is a major loss for women and families. The New York Women’s Agenda and Equal Pay Coalition NYC join the chorus of groups and leaders vowing to continue the fight for economic equity and strong wage discrimination laws.

“New York women, their families and our state cannot afford the cost of pay inequity,” said Beverly Cooper Neufeld, spokesperson for the New York Women’s Agenda and Equal Pay Coalition NYC. “With a federal remedy on hold, our coalitions will continue the push for stronger state and local laws like the NYS Fair Pay Act, which was close to passage last year.”

In New York, unequal pay creates a wage gap between full-time working men and women of $8,590. On average, nationally, women still make only 77 cents for every dollar men earn. By some estimates women could lose between $500,000 and $1 million over a 40-year career.

Leaders across the country denounce the Senate’s rejection of PFA:

Senator Charles Schumer: “Half a century after the Equal Pay Act promised equal pay for equal work, women today earn only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. As the father of two girls, one in the labor market and one about to enter it, I am deeply disappointed that not a single Senate Republican was willing to cross the aisle in favor of the Paycheck Fairness Act. In the new Congress, my fellow Democrats and I will continue to fight to pass this vital legislation and close the pay gap once and for all.”

Senator Kristin Gillibrand: “It is outrageous that Republicans blocked a vote on Paycheck Fairness Act today. We must eliminate pay disparities between women and men.”

President Obama: “…This bill passed in the House almost two years ago; today, it had 58 votes to move forward, the support of the majority of Senate, and the support of the majority of Americans. As we emerge from one of the worst recessions in history, this bill would ensure that American women and their families are bringing home smaller paychecks because of discrimination. It also helps businesses that pay equal wages as they struggle to compete against discriminatory competition. But a partisan minority of Senators blocked this commonsense law. Despite today’s vote, my Administration will continue to fight for a woman’s right to equal pay for equal work.”

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis: “… the issue of pay equity is far too important to give up. I remain committed to the fight for this commonsense reform, and my department will redouble its efforts to ensure America’s women are not treated as second class citizens by employers who refuse to compensate them in a fair and equitable manner.”

“This was a missed opportunity to make history and jump start real economic change for American women and their families,” said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. “While the Senate’s action is difficult to comprehend given the stark reality that most families depend on the paychecks of women, our effort to close the pay gap is far from over.”

For information about EPCNYC and NYWA, contact:
Beverly Neufeld – VP, NYWA and Director,EPCNYC


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