Thousands gather around the country for Equal Pay Day

(NBC News)– Women across the country gathered for one cause Tuesday: The fight for equal pay.

Created in 1996, Equal Pay Day is held in April to symbolize how far into the year women must work to earn what men did the previous year.

“Women make on average 80 percent to the dollar paid to white men,” notes National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill.

The wage gap is even greater for minority women.

It’s a fight continuing more than a half century after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963.

“When you see these numbers about unequal pay, it’s a reminder that our country and our society has a long way to go,” O’Neill says.

In Massachusetts lawmakers passed a first of its kind legislation last year called the Pay Equity Bill. It prohibits companies from asking perspective employees their current or past salary history, an effort to prevent pay discrimination from following a woman throughout her career.

Similar measures are being considered nationwide, and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have re-introduced legislation aimed at narrowing the wage gap by eliminating loopholes in the Equal Pay Act. The “Paycheck Fairness Act” has been introduced before but has ultimately fallen short.

Read more: http://nbcnews.to/2oyBF99

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