At this very moment, we have the opportunity to advance legislation — more than 20 years in the making — that will help close the pay gap between women and men. We need you to take action to ensure that the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7) passes the House of Representatives this week!
The bill, introduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) in January, is expected to get a vote on the House floor this Wednesday, March 27.
First introduced by DeLauro in 1997, the bill would begin to close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act by:
- Increasing penalties for wage discrimination and assuring that employers determine wages through the factors of experience, training, and education rather than sex.
- Directing federal agencies to collect data on compensation discrimination and share it publicly.
- Barring retaliation against women who seek information on pay disparity in their workplace.
When the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, women were paid 58 cents for every dollar earned by men. While progress has been made, the weekly earnings for full-time workers in the United States widened between 2017 and 2018. In 2018, the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings was 81.1 percent, a decrease of 0.7 percent since 2017, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
While earning ratios are not yet available for 2018, the previous year’s numbers show that white women are still paid only 77 cents compared to white, non-hispanic men’s dollar and the disparity is even worse for most women of color:
- 61 cents per dollar for Black women
- 58 cents per dollar for American Indian/Alaskan Native women
- 53 cents per dollar for Latinas and
- 85 cents per dollar for Asian American women (While higher educational attainment leads to higher incomes for Asian American women and men, women still make less than both white men and Asian American men.)
Pay equity is one of NOW’s core economic justice issues and we urge you to contact your representative today and insist on their support for the bill as it is and without any harmful amendments.
Below are a sample telephone script and letter for your reference, along with social media messaging. You can find your representative’s contact information here. Additionally, Monday, March 25th is the Paycheck Fairness Act Call-in Day and you can use this phone number provided by our pay equity partners to reach your representative: 1-855-973-0824.
We also invite you to join NOW and our partner organizations in social media outreach in support of the bill with the hashtag #paycheckfairness starting Monday, March 25th. Be sure to follow @NationalNOW and retweet our messages as well as contributing your own. Sample social media messages include:
- Congress must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act – without any harmful amendments – to finally begin closing the pay gap between women and men. #paycheckfairness
- Women have been waiting far too long for equal wages, the House must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act NOW! #paycheckfairness
- Women are losing ground in pay equity. In 2018, the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings was 81.1 percent, a decrease of 0.7 percent, according to @IWPR. Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act NOW! #paycheckfairness
Sample Talking Points for Telephone Calls
Hello, I am (FIRST AND LAST NAME) a constituent of Rep. [name of Member]. I am calling in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act. In 2018, the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings actually decreased by .7 percent to 81.1 percent since 2017.
Women have been waiting for far too long for equal treatment. The Paycheck Fairness Act would bring us several important steps closer to parity and it must pass this week without any harmful amendments that would weaken its purpose.
This act would begin to close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act to close the gender wage gap. I urge Rep. [name of Member] to take leadership in moving this important advancement for working women and their families to passage.
Sample Letter to Send to Your Congressional Office
Subject: Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act Now
Hello, my name is [name] and my zip code is [zip code]. I am writing to urge Rep. [name of Member] to support the Paycheck Fairness Act when it comes to the House floor this week and to ensure that it passes without any harmful amendments that would weaken its purpose.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 set the bar for equal pay for substantially equal work. While progress has been made, in 2018, the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings actually decreased by .7 percent to 81.1 percent.
This results in hundreds of thousands of dollars lost for women and their families. In response, the Paycheck Fairness Act would, among other important steps, require employers to prove that wage differences stem from factors other than sex, bar retribution for women seeking information on pay disparities and authorize research funds on pay data.
As a constituent, I am counting on Rep. [name of Member] to sign on as a co-author and vote for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act!
First Name, Last Name