By Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment, National Women's Law Center
Yesterday the Census released its annual data on earnings-and despite some earlier media predictions to the contrary, there was once again no improvement in the wage gap. On average, a woman who works year-round in a full-time job makes 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man, and the gap is even wider for women of color. And as families are increasingly dependent on women's earnings, these discounted salaries cannot go ignored.
The Senate has a short window to take steps to address the wage gap by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to ensure that it will provide effective protection against sex-based pay discrimination. It prohibits retaliation against workers who share their salaries and allows women to receive the same remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those who are subjected to discrimination based on race or national origin. It also provides for much-needed training and technical assistance as well as data collection and research.