WASHINGTON — Today, the House of Representatives passed two pieces of legislation that were authored by Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05): the Convening Operations Assistance for Childcare Heroes (COACH) Act and the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. The two bills were passed as amendments to H.R. 4350, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022.
Congresswoman Williams introduced the COACH Act in May with Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) and Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27). This bipartisan legislation requires the U.S. Small Business Administration to create a resource guide for childcare providers that details business best practices, empowering childcare small businesses to start and sustain their operations.
Congresswoman Williams introduced the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act in August. Thirty-one members of the House cosponsored the legislation and U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. Senate. This legislation will reestablish the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force previously in place during the Obama Administration. The task force will bring together federal agencies so they can work to limit any potential gaps in the enforcement of equal pay laws.
“I’m proud to pass commonsense pieces of legislation that will help everyone, no matter your ZIP Code or your bank account,” said Congresswoman Williams. “I want to thank the cosponsors of the COACH Act and Equal Pay for Equal Work Act for helping to bring these pieces of legislation to a vote in the House.
“Childcare is infrastructure and childcare professionals, many of whom are women of color, are essential workers. The COACH Act will deliver resources to hardworking childcare providers and allow their businesses to thrive. This will make childcare more accessible to our kids, which in turn helps parents get to work with the confidence that their children are receiving the best care possible. I appreciate the partnership of Reps. Stauber and Chu in our work to give our childcare small businesses the support and resources they need.
“Supporting our families means increasing access to childcare, and it also means ensuring equal pay for equal work. This year’s Black Women’s Equal Pay Day – the day it takes for Black women to make the same salary as their white male counterparts did in 2020 – didn’t happen until August 3. It is simply wrong that in the 21st Century, women still face pay inequity. The Equal Pay for Equal Work Act will bring us a step forward to that goal ensuring the equal pay laws on the books are well enforced.
“Passage of my legislation today through the House is a major step forward, and I will keep working to get these signed into law.”