Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee

Cooper Recognizes Equal Pay Day

Apr 14, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today recognized Equal Pay Day, pushing to close the persistent pay gap between women and men.

The timing of Equal Pay Day symbolizes when – more than three months into 2015 – women’s wages finally catch up with what men were paid in 2014. On average, women in America working year-round, full-time jobs still earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by men.

Tennessee women earn 83 cents for every dollar earned by Tennessee men; in Cooper’s district, women earn 89 cents, the highest figure among the state’s nine congressional districts.

“It’s no surprise that women do better in Nashville, but they’re still falling short,” Cooper said. “It’s 2015. We shouldn’t need a new law to ensure equal pay for women.”

Cooper is co-sponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill would provide numerous remedies to women who are not being paid equal pay for equal work.

Among its key provisions, the Paycheck Fairness Act:

  • Requires employers to show that pay disparity is truly related to job performance, not gender;
  • Provides women with real options for seeking compensatory or punitive damages; and
  • Requires the Department of Labor to enhance outreach and training efforts to eliminate pay disparities.

A co-sponsor of the Equal Pay Day resolution, Cooper also co-sponsored and voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which became law in 2009.