April 7, 1999: Equal Pay for All Americans


When we deny a woman equal pay for equal work, we are denying the idea at the heart of the American dream: Equal opportunity for all. From the halls of academia to the factory floor--everywhere in America--women and men who do equal work should get equal pay.

President Bill Clinton
April 7, 1999

Today, at the White House, President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton will hold a roundtable discussion with working women to discuss the need to ensure that every working American receives equal pay and equal opportunities. The President will renew his call on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and to provide $14 million in funds for the Equal Pay Initiative in his Fiscal Year 2000 budget.

A Continuing Need to Address the Wage Gap. Although the gap between women's and men's wages has narrowed substantially since the signing of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, a recent Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) report found that a significant wage gap still exists. According to the CEA report, this gap cannot be explained by differences between male and female workers in labor market experience or in the occupation, industry and union status they hold.

A Call to Strengthen Wage Discrimination Laws. The President will urge Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act introduced by Senator Daschle (D-SD) and Congresswoman DeLauro (D-CT) . This legislation will strengthen laws prohibiting wage discrimination and includes:

Presidential Leadership to Ensure Equal Pay. Earlier this year, the President announced a new Equal Pay Initiative as part of his FY 2000 budget. This initiative includes $10 million for the EEOC to increase compliance with equal pay laws by providing training to EEOC employees to identify and respond to wage discrimination, increasing technical assistance to businesses on how to meet legal requirements, and launching an equal pay public service announcement campaign to inform employers and employees of their rights and responsibilities. The Equal Pay Initiative also includes $4 million for a Department of Labor program to assist contractors in recruiting and retaining qualified women in non-traditional occupations.

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