Today—April 8, 2014—is Equal Pay Day and there is work to do! Women make 77 cents to a man’s dollar and a single mother of two working full-time at minimum-wage is living nearly $4,000 below the federal poverty line. America’s women and families are worth more and they deserve better!
Senate votes are planned tomorrow for the Paycheck Fairness Act and next week for the Fair Minimum Wage Act. Urge your Senators to support these crucial pieces of legislation via the Hadassah National Action Center.
Today, President Obama will announce two executive orders to strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women. One order will allow employees of federal contractors to openly discuss their own salaries—without fear of losing their jobs—greatly improving female employees’ ability to learn whether or not they are being paid fairly. The second order requires the Secretary of Labor to collect data from federal contractors regarding worker compensation. In February, President Obama also signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors.
These executive orders—which affect over 20 percent of the civilian workforce—are important first steps, but Congress also must act so ALL employees can receive fair pay!
The Fair Minimum Wage Act outlines a plan to gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, increase the tipped minimum cash wage from $2.13 per hour to 70 percent of the minimum wage, and index these wages to keep pace with inflation. With women constituting 60 percent of minimum wage workers—and 70 percent of tipped workers—raising the minimum wage would also have a significant impact on women’s economic security and closing the gender wage gap. Use the National Action Center or call 1-888-851-1916* to urge your Senators to raise the minimum wage.
Take action now and stay tuned to Hadassah’s social media pages for the vote results!
* Special thanks to our partners at AFSCME for providing the coalition hotline phone number.