US Congress introduces legislation to prevent sex-based pay discrimination

By agency reporter
January 31, 2019

Members of Congress in the House and Senate have introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that strengthens protections against sex-based pay discrimination and updates the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The bill would give working people the legal tools to challenge discrimination and provide employers with incentives, training, and technical assistance to comply with the law.

Despite federal and state equal pay laws, the gender pay gap continues to be a crisis for American workers, robbing women (and their families) of thousands – even millions  – of dollars over their careers. And pay discrimination has a devastating and disproportionate impact on women of colour, who make even less than the 80 cents white women make to white, non-Hispanic men’s dollar.

Vania Leveille, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, said: “This bill is a powerful weapon in the fight not only for fair pay and women’s economic equality but also against sexual harassment because addressing wage discrimination will help change workplace power dynamics that allow harassment to fester and grow.

“The record number of women who make up the 116th Congress are uniquely positioned to understand and hear the pleas of millions of women who have suffered pay discrimination for far too long.  Now that the Paycheck Fairness Act has been introduced, every member of Congress should ensure that it soon will be the law of the land.”

* American Civil Liberties Union https://www.aclu.org/

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