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Man and woman figures on balanced scale.
Congressional Democrats are taking another run at that equal pay thing Republicans keep blocking. Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut are reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act, which closes loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963, putting a stronger requirement on employers to show that pay differences are due to something other than gender and prohibiting bosses from retaliating against workers who share wage information, among other things. Announcing the bill's reintroduction:
"Four years after the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law to keep the courthouse doors open, it's time to finish the job and stop wage discrimination from happening in the first place," said Senator Mikulski, a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee. "Equal pay is not just for our pocketbooks, it's about family checkbooks and getting it right in the law books. The Paycheck Fairness Act ensures that women will no longer be fighting on their own for equal pay for equal work."  

"Equal pay is not just a problem for women, but for families, who are trying to pay their bills, trying to get ahead, trying to achieve the American Dream, and are getting a smaller paycheck than they have earned for their hard work," said DeLauro, who has introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act for each of the past eight congresses. "The Paycheck Fairness Act will help the Equal Pay Act fulfill its intended objective, offer real protections to ensure equal pay for equal work, and see that women are paid the same as the other half of our nation's workforce for the same job."

This is both a basic question of fairness and a major bread-and-butter issue for women trying to make ends meet. As Kaili Joy Gray wrote the last time the Paycheck Fairness Act was up for a vote:
The wage gap is real. It exists in nearly every single profession. And contrary to Republican claims, it is not just because women choose lower-paying jobs. Or because "money is more important for men." Even in those supposedly lower-paying jobs dominated by women, men still make more. In higher-paying professions, the gap is even worse, hitting CEOs the hardest gap.
Republicans filibustered the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Senate in 2010 and again in 2012, so any Democrat who really wants to see this bill pass and the United States take the next step toward equity should also support strong filibuster reform.

It's 2013. That's past time to advance beyond the equal pay protections of the 1960s. Tell Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 09:16 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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