To close the pay gap, we need good public policies at the state, local and federal levels. Encouraging women to negotiate a higher salary doesn’t do much if there are institutional and structural barriers that prevent her from earning her value in the labor market. These barriers include entrenched and institutionalized gender norms and expectations, pay secrecy, policies that allow employers to request salary history, and placing undue burdens on women to prove pay discrimination and limiting the remedies available to them.

The Paycheck Fairness Act Would:

  • Prohibit employers from using salary history which ensures that salaries are not based on prior pay disparities that can follow workers from job to job.
  • Protect against retaliation for discussing pay with colleagues, including stopping employers from being able to fire employees for sharing information. Greater transparency about salary is key to helping identify disparities.
  • Ensure equal pay for equal work, requiring employers to prove that any pay disparities that exist between men and women are a business necessity and job-related.
  • Equalize discrimination claims based on gender, race, and ethnicity, so plaintiffs who file claims under the Equal Pay Act have the same robust remedies as those who make claims under other laws.
  • Support employers and employees to achieve fair pay practices, including providing technical assistance to employers, requiring wage data collection, and offering salary negotiation training programs to give women the tools to advocate for higher wages.

The 2019 Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) is sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). Passing the Act would help accelerate the closing of the pay gap by addressing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963, ensuring that women and men are paid equally for equal work.

For more information, visit AAUW.

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