Press Releases

Congresswoman Lori Trahan Joins Democratic Colleagues to Introduce Paycheck Fairness Legislation

Washington, DC -- Today, 10 years after President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (D-MA-03) joined with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and her Democratic colleagues to introduce the Paycheck Fairness Act. This legislation has been designated as H.R. 7.  


“In 2019 the gender pay gap should be a relic of the past. Unfortunately, with women still making only 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man, that is not the case. It is with a great sense of urgency that I join my colleagues to introduce this important piece of legislation, and continue the work of those women and their allies who came before us in the fight for full equality,” said Rep. Trahan. “This issue impacts both women and their families at every stage of life. When women are at the table better decisions are made, and better outcomes are had. I am honored to have a seat at this table, and am optimistic that the record number of women serving in the 116th Congress can make real progress on this issue.”


More than fifty years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, a woman still makes only 80 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by a man. That gap grows even wider for women of color. Compared to white men, African American women are paid 61 cents, and Latina Women are paid 53 cents.


To address this, the Paycheck Fairness Act would:

  • Require employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons. In doing so, it ensures that employers who try to justify paying a man more than a woman for the same job must show the disparity is not sex-based, but job-related and necessary.
  • Ban retaliation against workers who discuss their wages.
  • Remove obstacles in the Equal Pay Act to facilitate a wronged workers’ participation in class action lawsuits that challenge systemic pay discrimination.
  • Improve DOL’s tools for enforcing the Equal Pay Act. To help the Department of Labor better uncover wage discrimination, it will speed up the collection of wage data from federal contractors, direct the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to conduct a survey of available wage information and create a system of wage data collection, and instruct DOL to conduct studies and review available research and data to provide information on how to identify, correct, and eliminate illegal wage disparities.
  • Provide assistance to all businesses to help them with their equal pay practices, recognize excellence in pay practices by businesses, and empower women and girls by creating a negotiation skills training program.
  • Prohibit employers from seeking the salary history of prospective employees.