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Equal Pay Day

On average, women who work in full-time, year-round jobs earn 77 cents to every $1 earned by a man in full-time, year-round jobs. Today, April 20, 2010, marks the point when women’s wages finally catch up to men’s wages from the previous year. The wage gap is even wider for women of color as the earnings for African American women are 67.9 percent of men's earnings and Latinas’ earnings were 58 percent of men's.
In Pennsylvania, women on average are slightly worse off than the national numbers, earning 76 percent of what men earn. The median earnings for a woman in Pennsylvania working full-time, year-round is $35,265, whereas the median wage for a man is $46,455.

The gap in wages has an even larger impact today, as women are now the breadwinner or co-breadwinner in two-thirds of all homes. During this recession, men have become unemployed in three of every four jobs lost, leaving many families relying solely on the income brought home by a woman. When women earn unequal wages, this discrimination affects not just women, but the entire family.

What can be done? Pending legislation, the Paycheck Fairness Act, would help close the wage gap. This legislation would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, enhance remedies, prohibit retaliation against workers who share wage information, and provide the government with new tools to monitor and address pay inequities. The House of Representatives passed this legislation in January of 2009 and it is now up to the Senate to take action.

Today, please contact your Senators today and urge them to take action on the Paycheck Fairness Act.

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