March 10, 2023

Duckworth, Durbin Join Murray, DeLauro in Re-introducing Bicameral Bill to Help Achieve Equal Pay

All Senate Democrats are co-sponsoring this legislation to help close the gender wage gap and guarantee that women can challenge wage discrimination


[WASHINGTON, DC] – Ahead of Equal Pay Day on March 14th , U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) this week in reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act. This bicameral legislation would address wage discrimination and help close the wage gap by strengthening the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and ensuring women can challenge pay discriminations and hold employers accountable.

“Every single day, women across our nation contribute so much to the success of their families, their communities and their country. Yet, they still are paid less than their male counterparts for the same work, and the wage gap is even worse for women of color,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud help Senator Murray and Representative DeLauro reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act with Senator Durbin and my Democratic colleagues to help our nation achieve economic equality for women and their families. We must build on the progress made by the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Equal Pay Act by protecting women who advocate for equal pay from retaliation and encouraging employers to finally close the wage gap.”

“More than a decade after the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, women in the workforce are still facing pay inequalities.  For women of color, that pay gap is even wider,” said Durbin.  “For a woman working full time year-round, the current wage gap represents a loss of nearly $400,000 over the course of her career.  For Latinas, Black, and Native American women, that loss is closer to $1 million. It’s time to close the gender gap and provide equal pay for equal work.”

“Women across our country are still being paid less than their male counterparts, still being shortchanged, and it’s time we finally take action to close the wage gap,” said Murray. “When we talk about the wage gap, we are ultimately talking about huge, life-changing amounts of pay that women are being cheated out of. Women are paying the price of inaction, and we have to put a stop to sexist pay practices—for good. That’s why I’m proud to reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act with Congresswoman DeLauro and every Democrat in the Senate today—to update our laws and take common sense steps to combat pay discrimination.”

“Men and women in the same job deserve the same pay,” said DeLauro. “It is a simple concept that has eluded so many in our workforce for far too long. It is time that ends. We must enact the Paycheck Fairness Act to close the expanding pay gap and give women the necessary tools to dispute pay discrimination in their workplace. This legislation is overdue, needed, and will meet women in the workplace where they are now. It is time for us to say that the work that women do in our society today is valued, and respected, and a needed contribution that we make.”

More than five decades after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women in Illinois on average still make only 81 cents for every dollar earned by men. That gap is even wider for Illinois women of color. Compared to white men, Black women are paid 63 cents and Latina women are paid 48 cents. Nationally, the current wage gap represents a loss of more than $400,000 over the course of her career for a woman working full time year-round. The wage gap impacts women’s ability to save for retirement and reduces their total Social Security and pension benefits, contributing to more older women living in poverty. The Paycheck Fairness Actwould end the practice of pay secrecy and strengthen available remedies for wronged employeesas the gender pay stubbornly persists.

Pay inequity not only affects womenit affects children and families and our entire economy. American women are the sole or co-breadwinner in half of families with children. Over the past two decades, women have made up an increasing share of the family income in all family types.