Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today on Equal Pay Day, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine joined U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to reintroduce 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. According to the National Women’s Law Center, today’s wage gap in Virginia would cost a woman on average $482,000 over a 40-year career, when compared to a man. In Virginia, on average, a woman makes 78 cents to every dollar a man does. April 4th marks how far into 2017 a woman would have to work for her wages to finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year.

“It’s unbelievable that it’s 2017 and we’re still having to talk about equal pay for equal work,” said Warner. “Women who do the same job as a man deserve to be paid the same for their work – period. This bill will hold employers accountable and help close the gender pay gap, which means more women in Virginia and across the country will be able to save for retirement, grow their pensions, help their families, and contribute to the economy.”

“It is unacceptable that women continue to make significantly less money than their male counterparts in the same jobs,” Kaine said. “This is not just a ‘women’s issue,' it is an issue that impacts the nation’s economy and the ability of families across the country to secure mortgages, buy cars, and save for their kids to go to college. If we truly want to help Virginia’s families succeed and climb the economic ladder, then passing the Paycheck Fairness Act should be a top priority for Congress.”

Despite women making up half the workforce, more than five decades after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, American women still make 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 making 63 cents on the dollar, and Hispanic women making only 54 cents, on average, compared with white men.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen and close loopholes in 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.

Other Senators joining Warner and Kaine in cosponsoring include: Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chris Coons (D-DE), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tom Udall (D-NM), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Carper (D-DE), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Michael Bennet (D-CO).