Statement: Senate Republicans Block Pathway to Paycheck Fairness Act

June 9. 2021

The following is a statement from Equal Rights Advocates Executive Director Noreen Farrell, Equal Pay Today Director Shannon Williams, and Senior Counsel for Workplace Justice & Public Policy Jessica Ramey Stender:

Equal Rights Advocates is frustrated and deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans refused to advance this week a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA), long overdue legislation critical to fill gaps in existing pay equity laws. Nearly 60 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, women in nearly every industry continue to face rampant pay discrimination and lose hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to the gender and race wage gaps. The COVID-19 pandemic has further magnified the ways in which gender and race-based pay disparities put women, especially women of color, at higher risk of economic insecurity and contribute to higher poverty rates overall.

Now is the time for comprehensive legislation to ensure women are paid fairly for their work and are able to emerge from the pandemic stronger than they entered it.

Even as women and families across the country struggle to recover from the economic devastation of COVID-19, and despite overwhelming public support for equal pay, Senate Republicans blocked consideration of this critical pay equity bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, with a final vote of 49-50. At least 60 votes were required to end the filibuster and move the measure to the floor for a vote.

Despite this setback, Equal Rights Advocates will continue to advocate for this common-sense legislation which would provide women with the tools to uncover and challenge pay discrimination free from retaliation and prevent employers from perpetuating persistent inequalities. The time is now for comprehensive legislation to ensure that women are paid fairly for their work and able to emerge stronger from this pandemic than they entered it.

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