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Rep. Courtney Helps Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act

Submitted by Patrick Cassidy, Communications Director for Joe Courtney.

Landmark legislation would provide remedies for Americans
not being paid equally for equal work

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), a senior Member of the House Education and Labor Committee, voted to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7), landmark legislation that would provide effective remedies for workers who are not receiving equal pay for equal work. Rep. Courtney is an original co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

“Equal work deserves equal pay—that’s something that hardworking families everywhere can agree on,” said Congressman Courtney. “Research shows that in Connecticut, women make only 83 cents for every one dollar made by their male counterparts for the exact same work. That’s not only morally and economically unacceptable, it’s also completely counterintuitive to fueling the sort of economic recovery we need right now. The Paycheck Fairness Act would provide some long-overdue remedies for all American workers facing this kind of inequality, and I’m grateful to my colleague Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, the bill’s sponsor, for once again leading this charge for American workers and families. Rosa has introduced and fought for this bill since 1997—she knows that real, meaningful progress doesn’t come overnight, and she has shown over, and over again that she’s got what it takes to deliver on behalf of working families everywhere. I encourage the Senate to follow Congresswoman DeLauro and the House’s lead, and pass this bill so that it can finally move on to President Biden’s desk for signature.”

In 2009, Congressman Courtney voted to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored the right of women to challenge unfair pay in court. The Paycheck Fairness Act builds upon that legislation, as well as upon the Equal Pay Act of 1963, by strengthening protections for workers who raise concerns regarding pay disparities, imposing more stringent reporting requirements on employers, and removing obstacles for workers to participate in class action lawsuits that challenge systemic pay discrimination.

The Paycheck Fairness Act includes provisions that will:

  • Require employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons, ensuring that employers who try to justify paying a man more than a woman for the same job must show the disparity is not sex-based, but job-related and necessary;
  • Ban retaliation against workers who voluntarily discuss or disclose their wages;
  • Ensure that women can receive the same robust remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subj4ected to discrimination based on race and ethnicity;
  • Remove obstacles in the Equal Pay Act to facilitate a wronged worker’s participation in class action lawsuits that challenge systemic pay discrimination;
  • Make improvements in the Department of Labor’s tools for enforcing the Equal Pay Act
  • Provide assistance to all businesses to help them with their equal pay practices, and create a negotiation skills training program for women and girls;
  • Prohibit employers from relying on salary history in determining future pay, so that discrimination does not follow women from job to job

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