Apr 10, 2014
April 8 was Pay Equity Day.
It marked the number of extra days in 2014 women must work to earn what men earned in 2013. Because the average woman brings in a smaller paycheck than a man, she must work much, much longer – one year, three months and eight days to be exact. And for women of color, that wage gap is even bigger.
One major reason the wage gap persists is because it's so difficult to prove that you're being paid less than a co-worker who does the same job. This is especially true in workplaces with a "gag rule" where workers are discouraged or prohibited from sharing wage and salary information.
But on Tuesday, President Obama signed an executive order that ends the "gag rule" by prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who share pay information. The president also directed the Labor Department to require federal contractors to provide compensation data based on gender and race. Both of these orders are important for shedding light on the pay disparities that exist and getting us closer to closing the wage gap for employees of federal contractors.
Still equal pay has a long road ahead.
The very next day, the Senate fell six votes short of moving forward the Paycheck Fairness Act. It was the third time Senate Republicans blocked a vote to open debate on the legislation that would hold employers more accountable for wage discrimination against women.
CWA's National Women's Committee has pushed hard to highlight pay fairness and build congressional support for the issue. In advance of the Senate vote, National Women's Committee members mobilized CWA's human rights network and activists, encouraging them to call their elected officials and push them to support paycheck fairness.