January 30, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Join Colleagues in Introducing Bill to Close Gender Wage Gap

The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen and close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963, ensuring women are paid fairly

Washington, D.C. — Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today joined their colleagues in introducing the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and guarantee that women can challenge pay discrimination and hold employers accountable.

“Equal pay isn’t just an issue of fairness, it’s also about economic security for working families,” Merkley said. “It’s simply outrageous that a giant pay gap still exists. We need to get serious about our fight to take on all forms of discrimination, and ensure that women receive the same pay for the same work. I stand with women in Oregon and across America in demanding equal pay, starting with the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

“I saw the gender pay gap firsthand when I was growing up. My mother was a librarian, and despite working just as hard as her male colleagues, she never earned the same paycheck,” Wyden said. “It’s outrageous that women still are not earning equal pay for equal work. Congress needs to do more, and it can start by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen and close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by holding employers accountable for discriminatory practices, ending the practice of pay secrecy, easing workers’ ability to individually or jointly challenge pay discrimination, and strengthening the available remedies for wronged employees. The House legislation has 240 cosponsors—including every Democratic member of the House and one Republican member—and the Senate legislation has 45 cosponsors.