Blumenthal: Paycheck Fairness Helps Women, Families, Economy

New Mother’s Day report shows 35% of Connecticut mothers are primary wage earners; Connecticut women earn 22.2% less than men

(Hartford, CT) – Pointing to a recently released Mother’s Day economic report, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) cited the persistent pay gap between men and women as a reason for stronger laws prohibiting pay discrimination. He urged the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act in the coming weeks.

"In Connecticut, mothers contribute 40 percent of family income but still make 22 percent less than men – underscoring the need to close the pay gap and strengthen our economy almost half a century after passage of the Equal Pay Act," Blumenthal said. "As we celebrate Mother’s Day, let us also celebrate the critical role women play as breadwinners for their families and redouble our efforts to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work at a time when they and their families need it most. Swift passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act will ensure that employers have no excuse to underpay women for their hard work and I am proud to join with strong leaders like Rosa DeLauro to ensure that working moms in Connecticut have the strongest voice possible."

The Mother’s Day report released by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC) found that nationally, women earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by men and that the persistent gender pay gap hurts families and weakens the economy. Additionally, the report shows that mothers’ earnings play a large role in supporting families, finding that two-thirds of mothers work outside the home and one in three working mothers is the only income earner in her family.

The report includes several key findings for Connecticut:

• In Connecticut the median weekly wage for a woman working full-time is $897; For men it is $1,153.

• The report finds that Connecticut women earn 77.8 cents for every dollar a man earns – a gender pay gap of 22.2%

• 35% of married, employed mothers in Connecticut are their families’ primary wage earners

Blumenthal is a co-sponsor of S.797, the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill would amend the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to strengthen remedies for pay discrimination available to women and close loopholes, providing employers with a stronger incentive to follow the law. Additionally, the bill would create a new grant program through the U.S. Department of Labor to help improve the negotiation skills of girls and women. When the Paycheck Fairness Act was brought for a vote in 2010, Republicans filibustered, preventing the bill from moving forward.

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Press Contact

Alex Armentano (Blumenthal) 860-488-2928