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On Equal Pay Day, Pingree calls for passage of Paycheck Fairness Act

Women in Maine still earn only 81 cents for every dollar earned by men

Washington, DC, April 14, 2015

As we mark Equal Pay Day today, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said that more needs to be done to close the wage gap that still exists between women and men – including passage of the critical Paycheck Fairness Act.  Equal Pay Day symbolizes the day when women's wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year.

"Women in Maine still earn only 81 cents cents for every dollar earned by men, just a few cents above the national average of 78 cents," Pingree said.  "And although there has been progress it's been far too slow—at this rate women won’t see pay equity with men until 2058."

"Women make up about half of the workforce and it’s wrong that on average they are still being paid less than men," Pingree said.  "A woman deserves equal pay for equal work.  Women’s role in our economy has changed dramatically but America’s workplaces have simply not kept up."

Among its many provisions, the Paycheck Fairness Act requires employers to show that pay disparity is truly related to job performance, not gender; strengthens remedies for women experiencing pay discrimination; prohibits employer retaliation for sharing salary information with coworkers; and empowers women in the workplace through a grant program to strengthen salary negotiation and other workplace skills.

"Equal pay is not simply a woman’s issue – it a family issue," Pingree said.  "Families increasingly rely on women’s wages to make ends meet.  When women bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of their families – groceries, rent, child care and doctors' visits."

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