Equal Pay Today Campaign Unveils Groundbreaking Policy Agenda on the 60th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act
June 9. 2023
For Immediate Release
Jun 9, 2023
SAN FRANCISCO – One day before the 60th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Equal Pay Today Campaign has announced the release of its bold 2023-2024 policy agenda aimed at achieving wage justice for vulnerable workers. This significant milestone also coincides with the 10th anniversary of the founding of Equal Pay Today, a national coalition of over 40 nonprofit and advocacy organizations that advocate for pay equity for women and LGBTQIA+ people, especially women of color. Equal Pay Today is a project at Equal Rights Advocates.
The policy agenda, released June 9, presents a comprehensive framework that tackles the systemic barriers preventing pay equality, addresses key contributors to the wage gaps, supports solutions to protect low paid and vulnerable workers excluded from protections, and strives to create a fair and inclusive workforce for all. By setting forth bold initiatives and practical solutions, the coalition aims to move the needle and make wage justice a reality into 2024 and beyond.
“We believe every worker deserves fair compensation, full legal protections, and equal opportunities. Progress has been made since the Equal Pay Act was enacted 60 years ago, but there is more work to do to address all the contributors to gender and race-based pay gaps that undermine the economic security of millions of people. With the release of this policy agenda and our collective focus on achieving these goals, we continue united in the fight for wage justice,” said Deborah J. Vagins, Director of Equal Pay Today, and National Campaign Director at Equal Rights Advocates.
The policy agenda encompasses key measures including:
- Closing the gender pay gap by implementing transparent pay practices and accountability mechanisms;
- Strengthening enforcement of existing equal pay laws and introducing new legislation to address emerging pay disparities and to address occupational segregation;
- Advocating for stronger anti-discrimination and anti-harassment legislation that promotes economic security;
- Addressing poverty level minimum wages, wage theft, and subminimum wages, particularly for our most vulnerable workers; and
- Supporting paid family leave, sick and safe days, and caregiver protections.
The Equal Pay Today Campaign invites federal and state policymakers, advocates, and the public to engage with the policy agenda. Advocates are encouraged to sign up for action alerts and stay informed about opportunities to support the campaign. Legislators and policymakers are urged to review the agenda and consider its recommendations to advance wage justice within their jurisdictions.
“Equal Rights Advocates proudly stands behind Equal Pay Today partners across the country pushing bold reforms to close the gender, race, and LGBTQIA+ pay gap The 2023 Equal Pay Today Policy Agenda does just that. We call upon lawmakers and advocates to join forces with us and help create a future where wage justice is not a distant dream but a lived reality for every worker,” said Noreen Farrell, co-founder of Equal Pay Today and Executive Director at Equal Rights Advocates.
“We must restore the dignity of work by ensuring fair and inclusive workplaces,” says Terry L. Fromson, Managing Attorney of Women’s Law Project, a state-based legal organization advancing gender justice in Pennsylvania. “We must address wage theft and pregnancy discrimination, raise the minimum wage, implement paid medical leave, and ensure equal pay. The data is clear and corrective policies are written. Families need these bills to pass into law.”
“The Equal Pay Today policy agenda sets a course for a future when racist and sexist wage gaps no longer shortchange women and the families who depend on women’s earnings,” said Emily Martin, Vice President for Education & Workplace Justice at the National Women’s Law Center. “The National Women’s Law Center is proud to be a founding member of the Equal Pay Today Campaign, and looks forward to the Campaign continuing to drive progress through partnership and collaboration this year and in the years to come.”
“Sixty years after passage of the Equal Pay Act, most working women in America will not see pay equity during their working lives. This is a national disgrace that calls for swift and radical policy change in Congress, statehouses, and board rooms across the country. IWPR is proud to stand with our Equal Pay Today partners on the 60th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act but this is not a time of celebration. We still have very far to go until all women are treated equally in the workplace and progress has been disturbingly slow. It’s way past time women got paid fairly,” said Daisy Chin-Lor, Interim President and CEO, Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
“The gender wage gap results not only in lost income, but also lost wealth, particularly for women of color, robbing generations of families of economic security. The persistence of the wage gap, and its compounding negative impacts, require that we work together with resolve, creativity, and collaboration,” said Sharmili Majmudar, Executive Vice President of Policy, Programs and Research at Women Employed.
About Equal Pay Today
The mission of Equal Pay Today, a project at Equal Rights Advocates, is to eradicate the long-standing gender wage gap impacting the economic security of women, families, and communities of color. Through strategies involving policy reform, litigation, education and outreach, our innovative collaboration of national, regional, and state-based women’s legal advocacy, worker justice groups, and social justice organizations are changing conversations about equal pay at every opportunity.