The Fair Minimum Wage Act and Paycheck Fairness Act Vote
Three times the Paycheck Fairness Act was blocked in the Senate—– three times. This week, the US Senate could vote again on this piece of legislation. If you care about equal pay for equal work, please contact your US Senator and encourage her/him to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Today, our senators could vote on a series of bills that would help women and families succeed, including a minimum wage increase and the Paycheck Fairness Act. The issues of minimum wage and equal pay are inextricably linked: Two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women, and the concentration of women in low-wage jobs is one of the factors contributing to the persistent gender pay gap.
Another thing these issues have in common: Neither of them has seen any action since 2009. That’s five years that women have been missing out on two big advances to help them lift themselves and their families to stronger economic standing. We can’t solve either of these problems in a vacuum.
The Senate needs to pass the Fair Minimum Wage Act to give minimum wage workers a long-overdue raise, and it needs to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to give employees the tools they need to uncover and challenge unlawful pay discrimination.
Your senators need to hear from you TODAY, before they vote his week – take two minutes to send a message urging them to support the Fair Minimum Wage Act and Paycheck Fairness Act.
Simply put, a lot has changed in the last five years – the economy dove into a recession, the price of milk, gas, rent, and nearly every other major expense has shot up, and a record number of women were elected to the current Congress.
Yet 2009 was the last time the federal minimum wage went up. And 2009 was the last time Congress had a substantive debate – let alone passed a bill – addressing the persistent gender wage gap. With today’s minimum wage stuck at $7.25 per hour, someone who works full time, year round, will take home less than $20,000 annually, meaning her and her family would live below the poverty line.
The situation is even worse for tipped minimum wage workers, who make $2.13 per hour. In addition to directly benefiting women and their families, increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and indexing it to inflation – as the Fair Minimum Wage Act would do – could close the gender pay gap by about 5 percent.
That’s more than the pay gap has shrunk in over a decade! That’s more pay in the pockets of millions of women, which means more consumer spending fueling business growth and new jobs. A minimum wage increase would be a big step forward – once you add the Paycheck Fairness Act’s increased protections for workers and stronger deterrents to stop pay discrimination from happening in the first place, we’re talking about a giant leap forward for women and their families.
Your voices caused the US Senate to finally recognize the need to act, and your senators’ votes on these bills will reveal the answer to the ultimate question: Are they really listening? There’s only one way to find out:
Send a message to your senators today urging them to vote “yes” on the Fair Minimum Wage Act and Paycheck Fairness Act.
Source(s) Emily’s List. AAUW.
Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art