Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today marked Equal Pay Day by calling on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to help close the pay gap between women and men working the same jobs. Equal Pay Day represents how far into this year a woman must work, on average, to earn as much as a man earned in 2016. According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), in 2015, women working full time typically were paid only 80 percent of men's earnings.
"It is unconscionable that there is still a difference between women's and men's paychecks," Bennet said. "Everyone, regardless of gender, deserves equal pay for equal work. We've taken many important steps toward full gender equality in recent years, but Equal Pay Day reminds us that we still have work to do.
"The Paycheck Fairness Act will help ensure that women are fairly compensated for their hard work," Bennet continued. "This is the right thing to do, and it's good for our economy. Congress should pass this bill to ensure our laws reflect our ideals, and I will continue to work on this issue until I can guarantee my three daughters that they will receive the same pay as their male co-workers."
Bennet is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation reintroduced today with more than 40 senators that would protect employees from retaliation for making inquiries or disclosures concerning employee wages. The bill would also seek to enhance data collection, research, and training with regard to pay discrimination. A small minority of senators have blocked earlier versions of the bill in previous sessions of Congress. Companion legislation in the House was introduced by Congresswoman DeLauro with 195 cosponsors.