Knowledge is power—especially when it comes to your paycheck. When employers are open about their payscales and criteria for evaluating raises and promotions, employees can make informed decisions about whether they are being paid fairly and whether it is appropriate to negotiate for a higher salary or promotion. This is important for all women, who earn less than men in all but five occupations, but especially important for women of color, for whom the gender wage gap is magnified by a racial and ethnic earnings gap. Employers who promote pay secrecy perpetuate the gender wage gap, as a result of which women earn $0.82 per $1 that their male counterparts earn.
Though federal law affirms that workers have a right to discuss their salaries with one another, many employers, particularly in the private sector, have policies that discourage or prohibit sharing salary information. The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen protections for workers who openly discuss their salaries, reveal workplace bias and disparity in pay, and put the impetus on employers to prove that any pay discrepancies are a business necessity. By passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, workers can hold employers accountable and make sure they are earning what they deserve.