In an interview with Daily Voice, Lowey said pay equity is “one of the key issues affecting women in our community and in our country.”
Lowey, a Democrat who is also running on the Working Families Party line, is seeking re-election to a fourteenth term in the New York’s 17th Congressional District. She is being challenged by Republican Chris Day, a businessman and Army veteran who is also running on the Conservative Party line.
According to Lowey, women in New York only make 84 cents for every dollar her male counterpart makes, resulting in an $8,275 annual wage gap.
She says it costs working New York women about $23 billion annually.
Lowey says the gap is even wider around the country at 77 cents per dollar. According to The White House, women make up half the U.S. labor force, are taking on more jobs traditionally held by men, and are growing as providing the main source of income for their families.
“Women should have the opportunity to earn the money so they can support their families,” Lowey told Daily Voice.
Though the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963 making wage discrimination unlawful, Lowey is an advocate for the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill she co-sponsored.
In the past, Lowey has said that ending the “Mad Men style” pay inequality would offer the average New York woman the ability to purchase 2,000 more gallons of gas and pay for 29 more months of family health insurance premiums.
Supporters of the Paycheck Fairness Act say it would provide women with additional legal measures to help eliminate wage discrimination such as preventing employers from retaliating against workers who discuss salaries with colleagues and requiring employers to prove pay differences for legitimate job-related reasons.
It would also create negation skills training programs for women and girls and recognize employers for fair pay practices.
Opponents of the bill argue that discrimination isn’t the cause of the wage gap and that the bill would allow women to sue companies without having to prove that discrimination actually occurred.
The Paycheck Fairness act was blocked in the Senate in September.
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