Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), along with other Democratic Senators, the National Urban League, the National Committee on Pay Equity, and the AFL-CIO, have called for the Department of Labor to release their report on the pay gap. The report reveals that even 38 years after the Equal Pay Act became law, the average working woman is paid only 72 cents for every dollar that a man earns. Even when the woman has the same experience and skills as her male counterpart, she is paid only 89 cents for every dollar that the man would earn.
The report also reveals that an estimated 9.6 million women work in highly sex-segregated jobs and that the undervaluing of female-dominated work plays a key role in continuing the pay gap between men and women.
The Department of Labor has not officially released the report citing concerns over its methodology and data. According to reports, the study was based on data provided by the National Urban League, population surveys, and Equal Employment Opportunity reports.
Calling the findings, “far too significant to just sweep under the rug,” Senator Harkin released a draft of the report on April 3 to coincide with Equal Pay Day. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) supported Harkin’s efforts stating that pay inequity “not only hurts women, it hurts single mothers, it hurts working couples, it hurts families, and it hurts our nation’s economy as well.”
Senator Harkin has introduced the Fair Pay Act of 2001 to require employers to compensate women and men in comparable jobs equally.