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Udall, Heinrich Work To Close Gender Wage Gap

Senators Reintroduce Paycheck Fairness Act to close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and ensure equal pay for equal work

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 31, 2019) – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by guaranteeing that women can challenge pay discrimination and hold employers accountable. The bill introduction comes 10 years after President Obama passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, marking an important step in the fight to end the gender wage gap.

“Pay discrimination against women violates the basic tenant of fairness that is at the foundation of our state and our country. Because of the gender pay gap, New Mexico’s working families pay a steep price, economic growth is stifled, and women – especially women of color and Native women – are prevented from attaining true equality. Since passing the Equal Pay Act, we’ve taken important steps to address pay inequality. But without a right to recourse, women in New Mexico and across the country will continue to be denied the compensation they deserve. I will keep fighting until working women are guaranteed the fundamental right of equal pay for equal work,” said Udall.  

"Ten years after President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, women are still battling for equal pay. In New Mexico, women earn 83 cents for every dollar a man makes, a disparity that is even worse for Hispanic and Native American women,” said Heinrich. “The gender wage gap halts the progress of our economy, forces women to make ends meet with less, and undermines the notion that everyone deserves an honest day's pay for a full day's work. It's time to give New Mexico working families the economic security they need to get ahead and that starts with equal pay for women.”

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 (every Democratic Member of the House and one Republican Member) and the Senate legislation has 45 cosponsors.

The full text of the bill is available HERE