Today is not a day to celebrate equal pay between the genders, as that does not exist. By “equal pay day” we (we?) mean, Happy This is How Many Extra Days Women Would Have To Work To Make As Much As Men Did In 2013 Day. Ladies, we are done working for 2013 now, hypothetically! And boy am I tired.
As you may have heard, women earn on average 77 cents out of every dollar paid to their male counterparts. Here are some more SAD FACTS, courtesy of the National Women’s Law Center, who is covering the pay gap all week.
- For women of color, the pay gap is even wider: African-American women are paid only 64 cents, and Hispanic women only 54 cents, for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
- The wage gap among union members is half the size of the wage gap among non-union workers.
- Women represent nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers. More than three-quarters of women earning the minimum wage are 20 or older, and do not have a spouse’s income to rely on.
- 70% of restaurant servers (the largest group of tipped minimum wage worker) are women – and their poverty rate is nearly 3 times higher than the rate for the workforce as a whole.
It’s not all bad news, though. As Politico reports, President Obama is signing two relevant and promising executive orders into law today:
One of the new executive orders on Tuesday, Equal Pay Day, will prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against workers who discuss their salaries — a move one White House official called “a critical tool to encourage pay transparency.”
Obama will also sign a presidential memorandum instructing Labor Secretary Tom Perez to create new regulations requiring federal contractors to report salary summary data to the government, including sex and race breakdowns. The hope, according to the White House, is that this will encourage other employers to submit data voluntarily, enabling more targeted government enforcement.
Meanwhile, we wait for the Senate to vote on the historically-doomed Paycheck Fairness Act.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons