A message from Congressman Kennedy:
2058. I’ll be closing in on 80 years old. And women will finally be receiving equal pay for equal work.
That’s according to a recent study that determined if we maintain the status quo, women will continue to make less money than their male peers for the next forty-three years. Some states won’t even reach pay equity until next century.
Right now in 2015 women earn 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male colleagues. For African-American women it’s only 64 cents and for Latina women it’s a staggering 56 cents. These numbers are unacceptable and our system needs to respond.
The original Equal Pay Act has not been updated since it was signed into law over fifty years ago. Our economy has shifted significantly over the past five decades, so it would make sense that the legislation needs a few fixes. Today, women make up nearly half of our workforce and they are the primary breadwinner in 4 out of 10 households with a child under 18.
That means our failure to end pay discrimination has real and painful consequences. One in three women in this country are living in or on the brink of poverty. Two-thirds of minimum wage workers are female.
The good news is that we have made some progress in recent years. In 2009, Congress and the President worked together to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for women who have faced pay discrimination to seek justice.
But that's not enough. Which is why I joined 186 of my colleagues in co-sponsoring a bill called the Paycheck Fairness Act. This legislation would protect women from any sort of retaliation for pursuing pay equity and it would provide them with real options to pursue compensation for gender based discrimination.
Today is Equal Pay Day, so I'm hoping you will take a minute and show your support for this bill. Here's what you can do to help:
1 -- Forward this email to five of your friends and ask them to help spread awareness about the fight for pay equity.
2 -- Tweet a message of support for the Paycheck Fairness Act, and use the hashtag #EqualPayNow.
3 -- Click here to find out what Members of Congress have yet to add their names to the Paycheck Fairness Act. Call their offices and urge them to support it today!
It's time we make the gender pay gap a thing of the past in 2015, not 2058.
Thanks for your time,
Congressman Joe Kennedy III