Biden: Closing the gender pay gap 'a moral imperative'

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Biden: Closing the gender pay gap 'a moral imperative'

Biden added that a full passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act by Congress would address the wage gap by removing loopholes that have allowed employers to justify gender pay disparities, improving provisions for introducing systemic pay discrimination and leveling the playing field for women and people of color by making it easier for workers to challenge pay disparities as a group.

I applaud the House of Representatives for passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, President Joe Biden said in a statement released by the White House. Closing the gender pay gap is more than an economic imperative- it is also a moral imperative.

The bill, which was reintroduced by House Democrats in January, has been met with opposition from some business groups who say it could threaten bonuses, limit employees from negotiating higher pay and make it easier for trial lawyers to bring big class-action suits against employers. However, many industry and gender experts have argued in favor of the bill, emphasising that it could be a key step to achieving equal pay for women.

The Paycheck Fairness Act, which aims to weaken the gender pay gap and to eliminate workplace protections for women, passed the House of Representatives in a 217- 210 vote on Thursday.

President Joe Biden speaks with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Executive Committee on April 15, 2021 in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he said that the Paycheck Fairness Act would make it illegal for employers to ask employees about their salary history in the hiring process and promote pay transparency by requiring more employers to report pay data to the government.

Right now, at least 18 states already have salary laws in place that ban employers from enforcing them about the payment history of an employee. The Act would also prevent workers from facing retaliation if they discuss their salary with co-workers, an issue Biden says is a critical barrier to equality given that pay disparities often persist because workers are kept in the dark about the fact that they are n't being paid fairly.

Currently, men in the U.S. are paid just$ 0.82 per dollar when they are paid to women.

When broken down by race, Asian American and Pacific Islander women are paid$ 0.85 for every dollar paid to white men, white women are paid$ 0.79 for every dollar paid to white men, and black women, Native American women and Latinas are paid$ 0.63,$ 0.60 and$ 0.55, respectively for every dollar paid to white men. For some Native American women and Asian American and Pacific Islander women, the pay gap they face are even more severe than the average that's reported for their racial group. While this is n't the first time the legislators have tried to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, with Democrats helping the House pass the legislation in 2008, 2009 and 2019, some experts do hope that this attempt will be different considering the disproportionate impact the pandemic has on women.

Black women, Latinas and other women continue to be undervalued and underpaid even as they risk their lives on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis to keep the country going, says Emily Martin, Vice President for Education Workplace Justice at the National Women's Law Center in a statement.

If we do n't close the gender wage gap, a woman starting her career today could lose more than$ 400,000 over a 40-year career. Latinas will typically lose over$ 1 million and Native American women and black women close to that. This life-changing loss of income, Martin says, undercuts women's ability to manage this crisis in the long run and build wealth and economic stability for their families in the short run.

The World Economic Forum predicts that the pandemic's impact on women has only widened the gender gap that already existed.

Before the pandemic, WEF predicted that it would take 100 years for gender equality to be reached globally. Now that prediction is expected to continue on 135.6 years, WEF predicts that it will take 61.5 years before economic parity is reached in the United States. One reason why this gap has widened during the pandemic is because of the disproportionate job loss women have experienced over the past year, as well as the decrease in women's participation rate as many working mothers have been forced out of work by child care demands. Since February 2020, women have lost more than 4.6 million jobs, with many of these jobs in service-sector industries that were heavily impacted by the pandemic, reports NWLC.

By comparison, men have lost over the same period nearly 3.8 million net jobs. When looking at the female labor force participation rate, data from NWLC shows that the current participation rate of 57.4% is the lowest it has been since December 1988. Before the pandemic, women's labor participation rate in February 2020 stood at 59.2%.

Both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have called the impact on women a national emergency, with Biden urging the Senate to act quickly to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. Equal pay is about justice, fairness, and who we are as a nation, Biden added in his White House statement, it makes all of us stronger and it represents what America is really about.

Check out: Meet the middle-aged millennial: Homeowner, debt-burdened and turning 40 Do n't miss: The women equality experts say Biden should focus on right now on creating equal pay for the female and the female races in the U.S.

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