WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) marked National Equal Pay Day and called for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill aimed at combatting wage discrimination on the basis of gender.
"It's unacceptable that women in New Mexico are earning 82 cents for every dollar a man makes, and the disparity is even worse for Hispanic and Native American women. 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," said Sen. Heinrich. "Equal pay for equal work is both fair and right. I urge my colleagues to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act so that women will have the tools they need to fight for equal pay and so our families have the economic security they need to get ahead."
Senator Heinrich is a staunch proponent of equal pay for equal work. In 2009, then-Representative Heinrich voted to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which is now law and allows victims of pay discrimination to more effectively report and combat pay discrimination in the workplace.
According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, women in New Mexico head nearly 107,000 families in the state and earn only 82 cents for every dollar a man earns. According to Institute for Women's Policy Research's Status of Women in the States 2015, the gender wage gap disproportionately affects Native American and Hispanic women who earn 73 cents and 66 cents for every dollar a man earns respectively.
Nationwide, women earn 78 cents per dollar a man earns. Equal Pay Day marks how far into 2015 a woman must work in order to catch up to what a man earned in 2014. This means that women have to work a little more than three extra months to earn the same amount a man earned in the previous year.