Spanberger Stands Up for Central Virginia Families, Helps Pass the Bipartisan Paycheck Fairness Act

In 2017, Virginia Women Earned Just 78% of What Men Earned for the Same Work

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today helped pass the bipartisan Paycheck Fairness Act, a law that would help strengthen the financial stability of working families in Central Virginia.

According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, women in the Commonwealth are paid just 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man for the same amount of work. Additionally, the average pay gap between women and men over the course of one year could purchase more than 10 additional months of rent or fourteen additional months of childcare.

“When employers pay women less than men for the same work, they deny working families a significant portion of income that could be used to obtain essential medical treatment, pay rent, or send their kids to college. Over time, this loss of income stacks the deck against the next generation of working Americans,” said Spanberger. “This bill—which I helped introduce earlier this year—gives women the tools they need to fight back against systemic discrimination. The Paycheck Fairness Act is an important first step in making pay equity a reality, and I am proud to help pass this bipartisan bill today. Equal pay for equal work should never be a partisan issue, because pay equity is fundamentally an issue about supporting American families.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, by:

  • Requiring employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons.
  • Prohibiting retaliation against workers who discuss their wages.
  • Removing obstacles that would prevent a wronged worker from participating in class action lawsuits that challenge systemic pay discrimination.
  • Improving Department of Labor (DOL) tools for uncovering pay discrimination, collecting data, and enforcing the law.
  • Assisting businesses with their equal pay practices and recognizing excellence in pay-equity best practices.
  • Empowering women and girls by creating a negotiation skills training program.
  • Prohibiting employers from seeking a salary history for prospective employees.

Spanberger helped reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act in January.

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