Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson’s Statement on Equal Pay Day
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson today marked Equal Pay Day and cosponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act, which aims to strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and guarantee that women can challenge pay discrimination and hold employers accountable.
“Despite its name, Equal Pay Day calls attention to the fact that women in the United States who work fulltime earn on average only 80 cents for each dollar earned by a man. This economic injustice is even worse for African-American and Hispanic women, who earn 63 cents and 54 cents, respectively, for every dollar earned by white men. Based on the current wage gap, today a 20-year-old woman just starting to work fulltime stands to lose a total of $418,800 during a 40-year career compared to her male counterpart.
“The statistics in Florida are slightly better, with white, black, and Hispanic women’s respective median earnings at 84 percent, 70 percent, and 68 percent of that earned by white men, but nonetheless still both unfair and unjust. It creates an additional burden for women who work and make their home in cities like Miami, where housing costs are among the most expensive in the nation. Moreover, this wage gap hurts not only women who deserve to be equal wages for equal work, but also their families who are increasingly required to do more with fewer resources.
“If fairly paid, on average a working woman in Florida would earn enough money for fifteen more months of child care, 1.2 additional years of tuition for a four-year public university or the full cost of tuition for a two-year community college, 78 more weeks of food for her family, seven more months of mortgage and utilities payments, and eleven more months of rent.
“I have supported the Paycheck Fairness Act since my first year in Congress and firmly believe that closing the wage gap will benefit our entire society. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), who is the legislation’s House sponsor, has introduced this bill in Congress every year since 1997. I hope that 2017 will be the year in which we finally do the right thing.”