Mothers’ Equal Pay Day this year is observed on May 16 – that’s the amount of time working into a second year for mothers’ pay to reach parity with fathers’ pay. Women with child rearing responsibilities are paid less compared to all women (79 cents); on average, they receive only 73 cents compared to the dads’ one dollar. Similarly, mothers of color are paid less compared to white, non-Hispanic men: African-American mothers at 53 cents and Latina mothers at 47 cents. Worse, the wage gap for single mothers is larger than for all mothers, and mothers working in low-wage jobs suffer a larger motherhood penalty that mothers who work in high wage jobs, according to a new report by the National Women’s Law Center.
It’s time for Congress to pass legislation that would significantly reduce the wage gap. The Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1619/ S. 862) would narrow employers’ defenses for discrimination, improve remedies for victims of wage discrimination, increase penalties for wage discriminators, prohibit retaliation against workers for making wage inquiries, and require federal agencies to keep track of wage data to measure improvements. Help working mothers: please send a message now to your Congressional delegation.