Wasserman Schultz Statement on Anniversary of Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

f t # e
Washington, DC, January 29, 2017 | comments
As his first act in office, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and told American women that in order to move forward, we must make equal pay for equal work a top priority. Unfortunately, his successor is moving us in the opposite direction. I am proud to have been an original cosponsor of that bill. But obviously, our fight was just beginning.
share: f t

 U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement in celebration of the eighth anniversary of the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act:

“As his first act in office, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and told American women that in order to move forward, we must make equal pay for equal work a top priority. Unfortunately, his successor is moving us in the opposite direction.

I am proud to have been an original cosponsor of that bill. But obviously, our fight was just beginning. In Florida, women still earn only 85 cents on the dollar for every dollar paid to men for comparable work, and for minority women, the gap is even steeper. Florida’s African American women make 61 cents on the dollar for every dollar paid to white men, and the gap for Florida’s Latinas is even worse, at 59 cents on the dollar, according to a 2016 estimate.

As a mother of two daughters, it’s possible that neither one will reach pay equity with their male counterparts until they both near retirement, according to one study. Worse, those same inequities will shadow them throughout their retirement due to lower Social Security and retirement plan contributions.

That’s simply not acceptable. The wage gap persists regardless of industry, occupation and education levels. And while I am proud to have cosponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would build on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act’s legacy by giving women the legal tools and protections they need to overcome a lack of transparency in wages, it’s not going to be enough.

Women not only need legal protections that enable them to identify and challenge discriminatory pay and employment practices, they need a minimum wage increase, and family-friendly workplaces that legally ensure access to paid family and medical leave, as well as paid sick days. Women also need affordable child care, and access to comprehensive reproductive health care. That’s how we erase the wage gap.

Unfortunately, we appear to be moving backward. As Congress and the President move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the economic impacts and personal hardships this will unleash are going to land disproportionately at the feet of women. Just as Lilly Ledbetter did, we must all muster the courage to stand up, speak out, and fight with all we’ve got to end this injustice.”

###

Contact:

David Damron, David.Damron@mail.house.gov202.225.7931

Geoff Burgan, Geoff.Burgan@mail.house.gov202.225.7931

f t # e