Newly elected U.S. Sen. Doug Jones is calling for an equal pay law.
On Tuesday, the Democrat announced he will co-sponsor legislation designed to address the pay gap between men and women. S.819: The Paycheck Fairness Act, would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and guarantee that women can challenge pay discrimination and hold employers accountable.
“Despite making up half the workforce, American women still routinely face obstacles to receiving the pay and benefits they’ve earned,” said Jones. “We have a duty to make sure that women are compensated fairly for the jobs they do. I’m proud to co-sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act and I look forward to working with my colleagues to see this common-sense legislation passed.”
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), five decades after the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women continue make an average of 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man. The pay 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.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen and close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by holding employers accountable for discriminatory practices, subject to the same remedies as discrimination based on race or national origin.
The bill endeavors to end the practice of pay secrecy by easing workers’ ability to individually or jointly challenge pay discrimination, and strengthening the available remedies for wronged employees.