March 23 was Equal Pay Day—the date this year by which women had worked enough extra days and weeks to earn the same pay that their male counterparts earned last year. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform recognized #EqualPayDay with a hearing on the long-term economic impact of gender inequality. “Routinely earning less than we deserve impacts us for life,” said Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) in her opening statement.
Lower wages result in reduced Social Security and pension benefits such that women earn, on average, approximately $900,000 less than men, she added. NEA provided comments for the record, noting that the gender pay gap exists “in all demographics, all parts of the country, and in nearly all occupations—including female-dominated professions like teaching and nursing.” Witnesses included soccer star Megan Rapinoe, who called out the NCAA for glaring disparities in how it has treated men and women competing in this month’s basketball tournaments, such as providing women athletes with substandard exercise facilities and refusing to allow them to use the March Madness brand.
Last week, NEA also sent the House Education and Labor Committee a letter for its markup of the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7), which would, among other provisions, require employers to demonstrate that gender is not the reason they pay employees different wages and put in place robust remedies for discrimination. Our letter also offered support for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 1065), which would provide for reasonable workplace accommodations to reduce health risks to pregnant women and their babies.
Email your senators and representative and ask them to support the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2021.