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Rhetoric vs. Reality: Making Real Progress on Equal Pay

The concept of equal pay for equal work is a cornerstone workplace principle firmly rooted in American core values of equality and fairness. The vast majority of Americans support equal pay—regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic level—and it is frequently identified as a top priority, especially for those who face sharp pay disparities, such as women, workers of color, workers with disabilities, and LGBTQ workers. Not surprisingly, many policymakers are quick to voice a pro-equal pay mantra to prove their commitment to upholding equal pay laws. Yet despite the professed support for this issue, persistent pay disparities make clear that equal pay for equal work is far from a reality.

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