(WAFF) - The fight for what's right.
Those are the words newly elected Alabama Senator Doug Jones says are the motivation behind his co-sponsoring of legislation to ensure equal pay for women.
The Paycheck Fairness Act was first introduced last spring by Senator Patty Murray of Washington.
Jones says its purpose is to strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to make it easier for women to challenge for equal pay when discriminated against.
"What this bill is going to do is try to level that playing field to make it a little bit easier for women to have access to the records and to also be able to challenge when they're getting discriminated against for lower pay," Jones said.
Jones says despite making up half the workforce, American women are routinely facing equity obstacles.
In fact, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, five decades after the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women make an average of $0.80 for every dollar earned by a man.
For minorities, the gap widens.
African American women earn just $0.63 on the dollar, and Hispanic women only $0.54 compared to white men.
The bill is still in committee, but Jones says if it passes it would be a win for the entire country.
"It's not important for me. It's something that I feel strongly about. Who it's important for is working women around the country," Jones said.
He added, "We've got to do all we can do to level that playing field, and I think this bill is a strong step in that direction."
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