Durbin: Workers Should Be Judged On Their Work, Not Their Gender

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Speaking today at a press conference with U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and their colleagues, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) called on the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would discourage gender-based discrimination in the workplace. The press conference followed a procedural vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which gained the necessary number required to advance, but is likely to ultimately fail due to Republican obstruction when a final vote occurs. In Illinois, just over 37 percent of married employed mothers are their families’ primary wage earners, yet there is a yearly gap of $11,596 on average between men and women.

“I want to focus on the power of an idea. It is the idea of fairness. It is the idea of fair pay. It is as basic as being an American and believing that people ought to be treated fairly,” Durbin said. “That when they do the same work that they are entitled to the same pay. That is not too much to ask. In fact, we should demand it.” 

The Paycheck Fairness Act amends the Equal Pay Act to further discourage gender-based discrimination and help narrow the pay gap. The bill would provide women the same remedies for gender-based pay discrimination that are available for people subjected to race or national origin discrimination. It would also prohibit retaliation against workers who disclose their wages. And it adds programs for training, research, technical assistance, and awards to recognize pay equity employers.