On this day in 2009, President Obama signed landmark legislation to address the gender wage gap between working men and women. It has been 7 years since President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law and there is much work left to do to end gender pay disparities.
In 2009, Wisconsin passed its own Equal Pay Enforcement Act. Shockingly, it was repealed by Governor Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature in 2012.
Of course, the best way for women to be paid equally on the job is to join a union. Collective bargaining contracts bring wages up and ensure fairness in pay and benefits regardless of gender.
At the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, we think it’s past time to pay women equally.
The stats are startling:
In 2016, women only make 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. For women of color, the gap is much greater, with African-American women making 60 cents and Latinas only 55 cents per dollar made by white men.
Paying people fairly shouldn’t depend on their gender. It’s time to make 79 cents on the dollar pay for women ancient history.
When working women are paid what they deserve, everyone wins. Paying women fairly for the work they do will help millions of families make ends meet and strengthen the economy for everyone. With so many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, equal pay for equal work could mean saving for a home, retiring with dignity or sending your kids to college.
It’s 2016. It’s past time to close the gender pay gap.