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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Johnson marks Equal Pay Day by cosponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and guarantee that women can challenge pay discrimination and hold employers accountable. Congresswoman Johnson joined Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) in cosponsoring the legislation in the House of Representatives. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate:

Equal Pay Day symbolizes the date when women’s wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year. Despite making up half the workforce, more than five decades after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, American women still earn only 80 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by a man. The gap is even wider for women of color, with African American women earning 63 cents on the dollar, and Hispanic women earning only 54 cents, on average, compared with white men.

“There is no reason women across the country should be paid less than their male counterparts when they are equally or more than qualified with the credentials and skills needed to succeed in positions at different levels in the work industry,” said Congresswoman Johnson. Based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey, the median earnings for women in Texas is approximately $36K compared to approximately $46K median earnings for men. Congresswoman Johnson continued, “This is unacceptable and men should be upset as well. I would expect they too would want to speak out against this unfairness.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act would close loopholes and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by holding employers accountable for discriminatory practices, ending the practice of pay secrecy, easing workers’ ability to individually or jointly challenge pay discrimination, and strengthening the available remedies for wronged employees.