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Fox Reno: Reid: Progress to be made in gender pay equality

Four years ago today, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. That legislation – the first bill Barack Obama signed as President – was the single greatest legislative step to ensure women have every chance to be full, equal participants in the workforce since the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

But while this landmark legislation built on the legacy of the Equal Pay Act and narrowed the pay gap, it still hasn’t closed that gap. So the Senior Senator from Maryland, Senator Barbara Mikulski, introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act last Congress.

The Paycheck Fairness Act is a logical extension of protections under the Equal Pay Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. It would help close the wage disparity by empowering women to negotiate for equal pay and creating strong incentives for employers to obey the laws already in place. It would give workers stronger tools to combat wage discrimination and bar retaliation against workers for discussing salary information. And it would help secure adequate compensation for victims of gender-based pay discrimination.

It’s simply not fair that any woman working the same hours in the same job should make less money than her male coworker.

Unfortunately, this common-sense legislation was blocked by a Republican filibuster last Congress. But Senator Mikulski, who has done so much to advance the cause of pay equity, reintroduced the measure last week.

As we mark the fourth anniversary of the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Act, Senator Harry Reid applauded Senator Mikulski and the women of the Senate Democratic Caucus for their dedication to American women and families – and to the principle of equality.

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