Equal Pay Day: Obama Calls on Congress to Pass Paycheck Fairness Act

By Maggie Freleng

Today is Equal Pay Day, and President Obama is calling on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, originally introduced in 2012.

"Showing by example," he will be signing two new executive orders into action to further equal pay in the country. In 2009, he signed the LIlly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, and now he will be doing even more to further pay equality.

According to the organization American Women, it takes women almost 100 more days to make up the 23 cent wage gap. It is even worse for non-white women. African American women make 65 cents to the dollar, and Latina women make 54 cents to the dollar.

Both Obama’s new orders encourage "pay transparency," a huge step to creating pay equality by encouraging both workers and employers to be open about pay to enable more government intervention and enforcement.

For example, one makes it illegal for federal contractors to retaliate against workers who discuss their salaries.

With the midterm elections happening this November, President Obama and Democrats alike are putting forward a serious effort to push paycheck fairness and close the gender wage gap.

And many people are behind the President: 62 percent of voters support an increase in the minimum wage to ten dollars and ten cents an hour, because more than two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women, and this would help close the wage gap, according to American Women.

It is crucial for President Obama to lead the push so the rest of Congress can get on board, because paycheck fairness is nothing to sniff at. Seriously, just look at what you could be doing if you had a fair paycheck.

By Maryland GovPic on Flickr/Creative Commons