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NEW: Warren Slams Brown for Voting Down Paycheck Fairness Act

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


Elizabeth Warren and Senator Scott Brown are butting heads on the Paycheck Fairness Act which failed to pass the Senate. Warren called on Congress to pass the act that would help ensure equal pay for equal work and decrease the gender wage gap, but Brown voted against the bill in today’s Senate vote because of the bill’s “job-killing” regulations.

“Across the nation, women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, and over their careers, that means they take home hundreds of thousands of dollars less than men,” said Warren. “Women deserve equal pay for equal work – especially now, when women are the sole breadwinner or the co-breadwinner of so many families.”

Brown released a statement in support of fair pay for women in the workplace after voting against the bill on behalf of businesses.

“As a father and husband of women in the workforce, I believe strongly in fair pay, and employers who discriminate against women should be prosecuted aggressively," he said. "The bill before the Senate today was flawed and overreaching. It’s the right cause but the wrong bill.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act, introduced in the Senate by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), currently has 35 co-sponsors. Republican Senator Scott Brown also voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2010.

Unequal Views

According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, the average woman in Massachusetts who works full time takes home $46,213 per year, while the average man in the state makes $56,959 per year, revealing an annual gap of $10,746.

“Here in Massachusetts, women earn 81 cents for every dollar a man earns. While that's better than the national average, that's not good enough,” Warren said.

These statistics were not enough to get Brown’s vote, however. He feels that the bill’s effect on businesses offsets any gains made from equal pay.

"On the heels of last week’s dismal jobs report, the last thing we should be doing is putting more job-killing burdens on small businesses and employers," he said. "Instead, we should be focused on creating jobs for women who, like all Americans, have been negatively affected by the employment crisis.”

Jobs vs. Pay

“At a time when the economy is still hurting, women are essential to making sure working families in this Commonwealth and across the country can get by,” Warren said. “Unfair pay – especially for single-parent households – makes it even harder for these families to stay afloat.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act amends the Equal Pay Act of 1963, to decrease the gender wage gap and achieve the promise of equal pay for equal work. The Paycheck Fairness Act would ensure that wage rate differentials are a result of relevant job-related factors like education, training, or experience, rather than sex.

Senator Brown’s campaign released a statement concerning his votes on the issue of equal pay in the past: “Senator Brown strongly supports, and would have voted for, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which passed in 2009, shortly before he arrived in the Senate, because

it ensures that women who may have unknowingly suffered discrimination over a long period of time can still to take their case to court.”

Warren maintains that the vote makes Brown look bad.

“With his vote, Scott Brown is telling the women of Massachusetts he thinks it’s okay that they continue to earn less than men with the same education doing the same work. His vote is costing Massachusetts families hard earned dollars that they can’t afford to lose in these tough times,” Warren said.

Women in Mass.

Female women leaders in Massachusetts, including Brookline Selectman Jessie Mermell, Worcester State Senator Harriet Chandler and Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad held a conference call this afternoon in light of the bill.

Their session is to discuss the importance of the bill and negative impact that comes from lack of support.


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