Today, April 12 , is Equal Pay Day in the United States. Strategically chosen, the date marks how long it takes women to make up for the disparity in pay between genders. Just think, 102 days passed this year before women finally earned the same salary as men in comparable jobs during the past year.
Along with looking back at the lost wages for women, advocates today also look forward to the day when women earn 100 percent of what men in comparable positions make, not the 77 percent they currently earn. And the way to get there is through the Paycheck Fairness Act, a commonsense piece of legislation that strengthens the current Equal Pay Act.
Unfortunately, the Paycheck Fairness Act fell just short in the Senate last year. However, following President Obama’s March 2011 pledge to “keep fighting” for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act in the new Congress, Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and Maryland Senator. Barbara Mikulski reintroduced the bill today with the hope of seeing it get through Congress and onto the President’s desk in order to sign it into law.
Like many fights for workplace rights, the struggle for equal pay has been long and arduous. And while we continue that struggle today, we look forward to a time when we celebrate Equal Pay Day on January 1, not April 12.