On Wednesday, we marked another Equal Pay Day, the point in the year when women have finally made what men made in 2020. And that's just the average across all women — Black women will make what white men made in 2020 on Aug. 3, Indigenous women on Sept. 8, and Latina women on Oct. 21.

In order to eradicate such incredible pay disparities, progressive legislation has to step in to keep employers accountable, enforce reporting, and provide safety mechanisms for both employees and employers. Currently, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 protects against sex-based wage discrimination, and 44 states have enacted their own laws to supplement the federal law. In 2019, Congress proposed the Paycheck Fairness Act to supplement the Equal Pay Act. It was reintroduced this January under President Joe Biden.

But according to advocates, the effectiveness of these laws lies in enforcement (which is currently missing) as well as clear, standardized requirements for gathering data on pay inequities.

Here are a few other ways legislation can more effectively address the systemic factors that enable pay inequality, promote more transparent wage reporting, and actually enforce equal pay laws:

  1. Look at pay equity, not just the pay gap
  2. Compare employees based on the substance of their work
  3. Don't include "same establishment" clauses
  4. Include "safe harbor" protections
  5. Require employers to report pay equity information
  6. Hold companies accountable with clear consequences

Read the full article about equal pay laws by Chase DiBenedetto at Mashable.