Bustos Pushes for Paycheck Fairness Act on Equal Pay Day

Women in Illinois’ 17th District Make Only 72 Cents to a Man’s Dollar

WASHINGTON – Today, on Equal Pay Day, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) continued pushing for the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would take real action to close the wage gap that too many women face in the workplace.

“Equal pay for equal work is not a women’s issue, it’s a family issue,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “Women are the primary breadwinners in 40 percent of households and when they earn less than men for doing the same job, it hurts all Americans. Even though women graduate college at higher rates than men and make up nearly half of the workforce, women in our Congressional District still earn an average of 72 cents for every dollar made by a man. As we mark this Equal Pay Day, I strongly urge Republicans and Democrats to come together to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and make equal pay a reality for women and families across America.”

Equal Pay Day symbolizes the date when women’s wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year. Despite making up half the workforce, more than five decades after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, American women still make only 80 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by a man. The gap is even wider for women of color, with African-American women making 63 cents on the dollar, and Hispanic women making only 54 cents, on average, compared with white men.

In Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, women only make 72 cents to a man’s dollar. The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen and close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by holding employers accountable for discriminatory practices, ending the practice of pay secrecy, easing workers’ ability to individually or jointly challenge pay discrimination, and strengthening the available remedies for wronged employees.