Groundhog’s Day and Equal PayPosted January 29th, 2013 by Ruth Martin
“Groundhog’s Day” is one of my absolute favorite movies. In the movie Bill Murray plays a TV weatherman who gets stuck in a time loop and is doomed to repeating the same day over and over again. Then he finally gets his act together and is able to move forward with his life.
The movie is on my mind right now for two reasons: This coming Saturday is Groundhog’s Day. The other is that, despite the fact that the Equal Pay Act was signed into law 50 years ago, women are still, on average, paid 23 percent less than men are paid for the same work. Women of color and mothers experience increased wage hits on top of that.
Tell Congress: It’s time to get out of the paycheck time loop and move forward to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act!
What’s happening? Last week, Senator Barbara Mikulski and Representative Rosa DeLauro reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act is an important step forward for achieving pay equity: It will close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, break harmful patterns of wage discrimination, and strengthen workplace protections for women.
Why do we need the Paycheck Fairness Act? What does it do?
The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963 – almost 50 years ago. Yet, women in 2013, and moms in particular, are still paid less than men are paid for doing the same job. The U.S. Census found that women who worked full-time, year-round on average still made 23 cents less for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. And, the wage gap for women of color was even more staggering than for women overall: When Black and Hispanic women work full-time, year-round, they only make 62 and 53 cents, respectively, for every dollar their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts earn. 
Moms experience some of the most extreme wage hits. For example, a recent study found that with identical resumes and job experiences, mothers were offered $11,000 lower starting salaries than women who are not mothers (fathers, on the other hand, were offered $6,000 more in starting salaries than non-fathers). Another study found that women without children make 90 cents to a man’s dollar, mothers make 73 cents to a man’s dollar, and single moms make only about 60 cents to a man’s dollar.
Let’s be really clear: Paycheck fairness is not a just a “women’s issue.” It’s a family issue and an economic issue. The majority of families these days need the wages of two parents to make ends meet, and getting equal pay for equal work would go a long way toward helping families and putting this nation onto the road of economic prosperity.
In the past, the Paycheck Fairness Act has passed the House of Representatives and come within two votes of passing in the Senate. We need to make sure that Congress knows that we’re tired of waiting for them to act. Equal pay is not just a woman’s issue – it’s a matter of national economic security.
Tell Congress to stop reenacting the Groundhog’s Day movie and move forward to pass Paycheck Fairness!
Please be sure to post this on your Facebook page and share with your friends so they can take action too!
Together we’re a powerful force for women and families.
P.S. Have you experienced pay discrimination? What about your mother, grandmother or daughter? How has it impacted your family? Do tell! We’ll compile your experiences into one central document and share them with elected leaders so they can see what mothers and families are really facing around the nation. Personal experiences, the stories that put faces with all the data, are extremely powerful and make a big difference. Share your experience here: http://www.momsrising.org/member_stories/topic/pay-discrimination-stories/