It’s time to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act

Nationally, women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. African American women earn 62 cents on the dollar and Latina women average only 54 cents on that dollar. Many women are the only breadwinners for their families and as a result their entire family struggles because of the unequal pay standards. We hear a lot of talk about basic fairness in today’s economy, and yet this inequality and lack of pay equity threatens the ability to provide for everyday necessities for loved ones and can bring poverty and bankruptcy if the earner is sidelined.

It is beyond comprehension that we still have to fight for the basic right of fair pay when the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963. While the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act – the first bill signed into law by President Obama in 2009 – was necessary to address the Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the Paycheck Fairness Act is necessary to remedy the ongoing wage gap.

This inequality is acutely felt by lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women. Research shows that LGB people are at a disadvantage when it comes to income parity. Because of the work of the Williams Institute we know that lesbian couples and their families are more likely to be poor than their heterosexual counterparts, while children from homes headed by same-sex couples are twice as likely to be in poverty compared to children from homes headed by heterosexual couples. This is magnified when we talk about lesbian couples who are people of color and raising children.

The Task Force’s own National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that transgender women are often living in extreme poverty, with nearly four times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000/ year compared to the general population.

Please join with The Task Force and call your senators at 888-876-9527 and tell them to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. This bill will expand protections for working women and help to stop wage discrimination. Don’t forget that you can always call or visit your members of congress in their district offices as well. Staff will welcome the contact with constituents and your voice will be heard. Congress must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to guarantee women their fair share and help the millions of people living on the edge of poverty because of unequal treatment by employers.