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IL Sen. Durbin Urges Congress to Amend Equal Pay Act

Today is being dubbed “Equal Pay Day.” A Stateline group aimed at advancing women in the workforce explains how legislation could help close the earnings gap between genders.

"Equal pay for equal work,” exclaimed Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.

Sen. Durbin took the Senate floor and urged lawmakers to support the Paycheck Fairness Act, amending the Equal Pay Act. He says that in Illinois women on average make nearly $12,000 less than men each year.

"The bill provides women the same remedies for sex based pay discrimination that are available to people today based on racial or national origin discrimination,” said Sen. Durbin.

The bill also allows workers to talk about their wages without retaliation.

Public Policy Officer for the American Association of University Women Rockford Branch Faye Marcus works relentlessly for paycheck fairness.

"When women make less money over their lifetime it affects their whole. It affects the future of their families. It affects their social security. It affects their ability to send their children to college," said Marcus.

LoRayne Logan has owned Workplace Staffing for 25 years. She says the issue for women lies in access to roles.

"I think the whole idea of disparity in compensation comes from the fact that women often don't have the same pipeline, perhaps as short a pathway, to positions with a lot of influence and therefore a lot of compensation," explained Logan.

The bill is not expected to make it through Congress where Republicans are opposed to it. They cite studies which show gender pay is nearly equal when factoring in career and family choices.

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