Hirono Issues Remarks on Equal Pay Day

April 17, 2012, 12:12 PM HST · Updated April 17, 11:40 PM
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Congresswoman Mazie Hirono and Lilly Ledbetter at the White House during President Barack Obama’s signing ceremony of The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on January 29, 2009. Courtesy of Hirono.

By Sonia Isotov

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono issued a public statement today in honor of Equal Pay Day.

April 17th marks Equal Pay Day, a day recognizing the continuing wage gap between men and women in the United States.

“80 cents. On average, each woman in Hawaii is paid 80 cents for every dollar a man makes for doing the same work. That’s a wage gap of more than two million dollars a year between full-time working women and men. This gender wage gap exists regardless of education level or industry. Our women deserve better,” stated Hirono.

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On January 29, 2009, President Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This law makes it easier for women to challenge pay discrimination and applies to workers who file claims of discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, or disability.

“To have a strong economy driven by middle class families, we cannot tolerate pay discrimination. That’s why I supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first bill President Obama signed into law. But there’s still more work to do. In honor of Equal Pay Day, let’s keep up our fight for fair pay.”

Hirono went on to remark that these numbers do not tell the whole story, as this disparity in pay hurts women once again when they retire since lifetime benefits are typically tied to workers’ wages.

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