URGENT: Senators Voting on Fair Pay, Minimum Wage Bills
Breaking news: The U.S. Senate could vote soon on the Paycheck Fairness Act and on the Fair Minimum Wage Act. Votes could happen as early as Wednesday, September 10.
Time is short! And your voice is needed now to let Congress know we're paying attention to how they vote -- and we expect them to step up for women and families.
These are important votes. Taken together, passing the Paycheck Fairness Act and raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour will help to close the gender wage gap, bring millions of families out of poverty, and also strengthen our national economy.
Look, we’re not naïve. We know that both equal pay and raising the minimum wage are politically “hot” issues and that is a key reason why they’re getting attention right now.
But let’s make this current attention work in our favor. Our U.S. Senators are talking about women’s economic security issues. Let’s make sure they know we’re watching, we’re listening, we’re demanding that they do more than play political football with our paychecks. #WEmatter #WEvote and #WeAreAPowerfulForce!
We need both.
The Fair Minimum Wage Act is needed to boost our economy and our families. Right now, working year-round, full-time at the current federal minimum wage adds up to about $15,000 per year. Families can’t survive on that, and it is women and families who are primarily affected. Women account for 55% of all workers who would benefit from increasing the minimum wage to $10.10. In addition, 28% of minimum wage workers have children. With those stats, it’s not very surprising that studies show raising the minimum wage will help close the wage gap between women and men.
Plus, a little known fact is that raising the minimum wage helps our entire economy. Studies show that 140,000 new jobs would be created by raising the minimum wage, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago says a raise in the minimum wage would help our economy by increasing household spending nationwide by about $48 billion, even benefiting the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The other bill up for a vote this week is the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help address unequal pay. We need the Paycheck Fairness Act, because among other things, it would prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who discuss salaries with colleagues and requires employers to prove that pay differences exist for legitimate, job-related reasons.
Here are the wage gap facts: Women working full-time, year-round, still earn an average of 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. And, the wage gap for women of color is 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. Working mothers take a big hit: Mothers who work full-time, year-round typically have lower earnings than fathers ($38,000 compared to $55,000), meaning mothers only make 69 cents for every dollar paid to fathers.
Less pay means less ability for moms to provide the basics for their children like food, medicine, and housing, as well as longer-term needs like college tuition.
Plus, unequal pay hurts our economy. This is because when women--who make three-quarters of purchasing decisions in our nation--don't have funds to spend in our local communities, in our neighborhoods, and in stores, then our whole economy suffers.
If we want to close the wage gap, pull families out of poverty, and boost our economy, then Congress needs to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and also raise the minimum wage.
The U.S. Senate can do the right thing THIS WEEK! They can raise the minimum wage and begin to close the wage gap.
And your voice is important. Let’s face it, opponents to the minimum wage are spending a lot of money trying to silence moms and low-wage workers so we need to be extra, extra, extra loud. We need as many people as possible to sign onto this letter via the link above so Congress knows that moms care about this issue. And also, after taking action, please make sure to forward this email to your friends and family— and/or copy the action link to your Facebook and Twitter pages.
Together, our voices are powerful!