Equal Pay Day

$ $ $ EQUAL PAY – No, It is UNEQUAL pay $ $ 

by Teena Halbig, AAUW-Kentucky Public Policy Chair

March 31, 2020 marks Equal Pay Day.
However, far from a celebration, this day represents how long women, on average, had to work into 2020 to match what men earned in 2019. Nationally, women working full-time, year-round earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men working full-time, year-round. On both the national and state levels, the wage gap is consistently worse for most women of color. Doesn’t this reflect how women’s work is too often undervalued and underpaid?

In this current moment, the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked an economic crisis, the effects of which are already being felt. About two-thirds of low wage workers are women, and it is these workers—particularly women of color—who are on the front lines of a society grappling with the outbreak. For example, grocery store workers and home health aides cannot do their work remotely, and while at work they are not easily able to limit contact with the public. These workers are risking their health and safety to serve the public during this crisis, and still the average woman working in one of these occupations earns less than her male counterpart.

The Paycheck Fairness Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support in March 2019. Yet, the Senate has failed to even consider the act.


You CAN contact YOUR senators in Washington to request SUPPORT for the Paycheck Fairness Act.

  • Call U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell’s office in Washington – (202) 224-2541
  • Call U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s Office in Washington – (202) 224-4343

Ban Salary History

This law passed in Louisville on May 22, 2018 through the efforts of AUUW-Louisville. See the video at Access Louisville.

Paycheck Fairness Act

In January 2019, women in Congress introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act to tackle a major portion of the gender wage gap. If enacted, the bill would

  • strengthen existing equal pay protections that have been weakened over time, making it harder to hold employers accountable for discriminatory practices.
  • better protect workers from retaliation, remove obstacles to justice through class action litigation, and improve remedies for plaintiffs so that they are consistent with the remedies available for discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • limit the use of salary history in the hiring process, which can perpetuate entrenched pay disparities and pay discrimination throughout a woman’s career.
  • require regular, disaggregated pay data collection to enhance employer transparency, identify significant pay gaps, and to bolster investigations of discrimination claims.

While the Paycheck Fairness Act will not singlehandedly close the gender wage gap, it will be an important step in the right direction.

On March 27, 2019 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act with bipartisan support. However, the Senate—under the leadership of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)—has failed to pass the equal pay law and as of today, has no clear plans to even act on it.

The math isn’t hard. Women contribute enormously to their families’ economic stability and this is increasingly true for all women in Kentucky. Man Mothers are primary, sole, or co-breadwinners for their families. Equal pay means more dollars to cover child care and school expenses, car payments, household bills, and health care costs while boosting consumer spending and the state’s economy.

Taking concrete action to promote equal pay would help Kentucky women and workers overall, as well as Kentucky families. We cannot afford to wait.

You CAN contact YOUR legislative representatives to request SUPPORT for the Paycheck Fairness Act.

  • Call U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell’s office in Washington – (202) 224-2541
  • Call U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s Office in Washington – (202) 224-4343