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Clinton proposes $27 million for pay equality

January 24, 2000
Web posted at: 1:47 p.m. EST (1847 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bill Clinton on Monday proposed spending $27 million to improve education and enforcement of federal laws requiring equal pay for equal work by men and women.

VideoCNN's Kelly Wallace explains the plan.
Real 28K 80K
Windows Media 28K 80K

Flanked by Labor Secretary Alexis Herman and U.S. Soccer Team player Michelle Akers, Clinton said the country's strong economy and job growth make this an ideal time to promote pay equality.

"There's never been a better time to take on this challenge," the President said.

The initiative would provide $10 million to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to train about 3000 employers about equal pay laws and to train 1000 EEOC staffers about how to identify and respond to wage discrimination.

Clinton also wants to give the Labor Department $17 million to help train women for jobs in areas in which they haven't been traditionally involved, such as the high-tech industry.

"I have yet to go to a grocery store and buy a loaf of bread, and have the clerk tell me since you're a woman, you only have to pay 75 cents and not a dollar," Herman said. On average, women make about 75 cents for every dollar men make.

Akers, one of the leading players on the U.S. women's soccer team which won the World Cup championship last year, cited the importance of Title IX in granting her opportunities in sport, and said the same rules should apply to the workplace.

"We still have a ways to go. The battle is not over," Akers said. The Title IX amendment prohibits sex discrimination in federally assisted education programs.

Akers and her teammates currently are involved in a wage dispute with the U.S. Soccer Federation, arguing they are underpaid as compared to their male counterparts on the U.S. soccer team.

Clinton said the principles of Title IX provide a good model for gender pay equality.

"The same rules that apply on the playing field ought to apply to life," the president said.


Monday, January 24, 2000

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