(April 4) – This morning, the House passed a resolution, sponsored by Reps. Jessie Danielson and Dominique Jackson, recognizing Equal Pay Day, the day in the calendar that symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn the total wages men earned in the previous year.
“In the United States, mothers are the breadwinner in half of the families with children under the age of 18, yet mothers with full-time, year-round jobs are paid just 70 cents for every dollar paid to fathers,” said Rep. Jackson, D-Aurora, citing a report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “A lack of paid family leave and affordable child care, plus discrimination in compensation, recruitment and hiring all contribute to the wage gap and are all issues we need to address head on.”
As Rep. Jackson pointed out in her remarks, the wage gap is even larger for minority women. For every dollar a white male earns, Asian/Pacific Islander women earn 70 cents, African American women 64 cents, Native American women 58 cents, and Latina women only 53 cents, according to a 2017 report by the National Women’s Law Center.
“I support this resolution for my mother who raised 11 children on her wages as a janitor cleaning buildings in downtown Colorado Springs,” said Rep. Tony Exum Sr., D-Colorado Springs. “She would be very disappointed that we are still trying to get equal pay for her daughters and even her granddaughters and great-granddaughters.”
“We are bringing this resolution because we believe that people should be paid based on the quality of their work and their merit,” said Rep. Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge. “People should be compensated fairly for their hard work and the hours they put in. They should not be systematically discriminated against because they happen to be female.”
The resolution was passed by the House on a voice vote and was also sent to the Trump Administration, which just last week revoked the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order signed by President Obama to ensure that companies that receive federal contracts, and thereby taxpayer dollars, abide by certain critical labor and civil rights requirements, including a requirement on wage transparency and a ban on forced arbitration clauses for cases of sexual harassment.