WESTON, Fla. – In honor of National Equal Pay Day, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:
“This year marks 50 years since President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and yet women still earn just 77 cents to every dollar earned by a man. As we pause to recognize Equal Pay Day, the sobering moment every year that marks how far into the new year American women have to work to earn the same amount a man made last year, we acknowledge that we’ve made great strides since 1963, but our work is not yet done.
“When we break that average down, we see that the pay gap is worse for minority women, with African American women earning only 64 cents and Hispanic women earning an astounding 55 cents to every dollar earned by a man. This gap adds up over time. The National Women’s Law Center calculates that over a 40-year career, the 23-cent wage gap would cost a woman more than $443,000. That means the average woman will be deprived almost half a million dollars in lost wages over her lifetime.
“That is money that could have gone to furthering her education or paying off student loans, investing in a house or buying health insurance, caring for an elderly parent or feeding her children. It is time to fix this. It is time to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, to recognize the value of working women, and to ensure fair and equitable workplaces in America.
“This morning in South Florida I hosted a roundtable discussion with Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-21), Corporate Voices for Working Families and local business leaders to talk about how we can work together toward pay equity and create flexible work environments for all employees. I’m also joining my colleagues in introducing the Equal Pay Day Resolution today in Washington, which acknowledges the significance of Equal Pay Day and the dire impact the wage gap has on working women.
“I look forward to the day when parents in America can tell their children that they can be anything they want when they grow up – and be compensated fairly for it. I look forward to continuing to work with President Obama and my Democratic colleagues on this important undertaking, and I hope that someday soon our friends across the aisle will join us.”