Today's the Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, But It's Also Moms' Equal Pay Day, and America's Moms Still Face Punishing Wage Gaps
“In the United States today, being a mom is a greater predictor of wage discrimination than being a woman. It is ironic that today, the 56th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act becoming law, is also the day moms -- across race and ethnicities -- must work until in order to earn what dads were paid in 2018 alone. Of course, averages alone don’t tell the whole story because, due to structural racism, moms of color face much larger wage gaps. This is a stark reminder that there is more work to be done. The Equal Pay Act is outdated and insufficient for solving the wage gap or making fair pay a reality in this country -- and moms, particularly moms of color, are hit especially hard when it comes to wage and hiring discrimination. On average, Latina and Native American moms are paid less than 50 cents, and black moms just 54 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic dads. Moms overall are paid just 69 cents on the dollar compared to dads.
“While moms face intense wage and hiring discrimination the moment they become parents, men tend to get wage boosts when they become fathers. The wage gap for moms is sexist, damaging, and deeply unjust. This discrimination must end.
“When moms are shortchanged on their paychecks, entire families and our economy suffer too. Right now, 64 percent of family breadwinners are moms, and low-income moms and moms of color are even more likely to be their families’ main source of income. The moms’ wage gap makes it even harder for families to afford the basics like food, housing, health care, childcare and education. The fact that we haven’t closed the wage gap is outrageous, and it harms women, children and our economy.
“America’s moms need meaningful action to combat these punishing gaps now. The U.S. House did its job by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would close loopholes in the 56-year-old Equal Pay Act. We now call on the U.S. Senate to follow suit and pass this critical legislation. Congress should also pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, as well as prioritize policies that will boost families’ economic security, including paid family and medical leave, earned sick days, affordable childcare and more. Moms are a serious force for change, and we won’t stop fighting until equal pay is a reality for everyone.”