Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), made the following statement to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act:

“With women making up a growing share of the workforce and contributing to their family’s income at nearly the same level as men, pay inequality is unfair and hurts families and our economy.  The Equal Pay Act has helped reduce wage discrimination between men and women. While we celebrate the progress we’ve made in strengthening labor laws and establishing anti-discrimination policies to protect women in the workforce, we should also realize that the pay gap that exists between men and women is still unacceptable. The Equal Pay Act should be updated and strengthened, and Congress must be able to continue its work to end wage discrimination”

“Representative Rosa DeLauro introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act in January.  This legislation would strengthen and enhance the Equal Pay Act by requiring employers provide a legal justification  for paying a man more than a woman for the same job.  The legislation would also allow employees to discuss salary information with co-workers and make it easier for women to file class-action lawsuits against employers they accuse of sex-based pay discrimination. I am an original cosponsor of this legislation and earlier this year signed a discharge petition to encourage House leadership to bring it to the floor for a vote.  

“When women are paid equally for equal work, we all benefit. On the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, I encourage all of my colleagues in Congress to support passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act.“