RELEASE: As the United States Marks Equal Pay Day, CAP Releases New Issue Briefs on Employer Misuse of Salary History Information and 10 Actions To Promote Equal Pay

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress released two new issue briefs focused on the gender pay gap. The briefs come as the United States recognizes Equal Pay Day, which marks how far into the current year women, on average, must work to earn what men did in the previous year.

The first issue brief examines how employers’ reliance on salary history information in hiring and compensation decisions exacerbates gender wage disparities and discrimination; the status of legislation and statutes banning this practice at the local, state, and federal levels; and how disagreements among courts on employers’ use of salary history as well as variance in state and local laws underscores the need for Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

The second issue brief assesses the state of the gender pay gap in the United States and Congress’ inaction. It also lays out 10 concrete actions the Biden administration should take to promote equal pay, including reinstating pay data collection, increasing pay transparency, reducing pay secrecy, and investing more resources in equal pay enforcement.

“Women’s work has been devalued and discriminated against for centuries. But as we look back on the health, economic, and racial justice crises of the past year, this Equal Pay Day represents a unique opportunity to recognize the vital role that women, particularly women of color, play in keeping our society and their families afloat—from making up an overwhelming share of the essential workforce to increasingly serving as family breadwinners. We must learn from the policy failures of the past that have resulted in gridlock and inaction and, instead, pursue concrete policy solutions to increase women’s wages and combat discrimination. There are important actions that the administration can pursue to strengthen equal pay protections, especially at a time when Congress has been slow to act. Women cannot afford to wait,” said Jocelyn Frye, senior fellow with CAP’s Women’s Initiative.

Read the issue briefs here: “Why Salary History Bans Matter To Securing Equal Pay” by Robin Bleiweis and “10 Essential Actions To Promote Equal Pay” by Jocelyn Frye

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