Fighting for Women's Equality

On Four-Year Anniversary of Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Equal Rights Advocates Urges Congress To Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act

January 29, 2013 | by

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – January 29, 2013 – On the fourth anniversary of passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Equal Rights Advocates, a national non-profit group with a long history of fighting for pay equity for women workers, is urging Congress to support and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 84/H.R. 377) – the next step in the fight for pay equity. Its reintroduction by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) comes on the heels of President Obama’s inaugural speech highlighting equal pay for women as a priority for his next term. “It is imperative that we fill the gaps in existing laws so that women receive equal pay for equal work,” stated Noreen Farrell, Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates. Farrell made her comments today at an event in San Francisco also featuring House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressmen George Miller and other advocacy groups and workers celebrating passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Four years ago today, President Obama signed the Ledbetter Act into law to ensure that the time limit for bringing pay discrimination claims would renew with each discriminatory paycheck (rather than be tied to when the employer first started discriminating). But in an economy where women earn, on average, 77 cents for every dollar men earn, and women on color fare far worse, with African American women earning 64 cents and Latinas 55 cents for each dollar earned by a white man, the fight for pay equity is far from over. The Paycheck Fairness Act updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and would give women the tools they need to challenge this prevailing (and embarrassing) wage gap. As co-counsel representing plaintiffs in Dukes v. Wal-Mart, the class action lawsuit addressing discriminatory pay practices by the nation’s largest retailer, Equal Rights Advocates is deeply committed to achieving wage justice for working women. The Paycheck Fairness Act would help by clearly prohibiting pay secrecy policies that are currently imposed by many employers and were faced by the plaintiffs in the Wal-Mart case, along with many other low wage workers. Pay secrecy policies prevent employees from gaining information necessary to enforce their rights to earn equal pay for equal work, and the Paycheck Fairness Act would help eradicate such policies. The wage gap results in thousands of dollars in lost income for America’s women and families each year. It hurts women, their families and our economy. Equal Rights Advocates urges the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act to help working women achieve wage justice. It is time for the administration and Congress to take action to advance this important goal. Contact: Noreen Farrell, Executive Director, nfarrell@equalrights.org Work (415.575.2398); cell (510.701.8243) About ERA: Equal Rights Advocates (ERA), founded in 1974, is a national civil rights organization dedicated to protecting and expanding economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls. Through its campaign approach—incorporating public education, legislative advocacy, and litigation—ERA seeks to assist women and girls throughout a life-long continuum: ensuring equality in their educational experience, combating sex discrimination in the workforce, and advocating for workplaces hospitable to working families. To learn more about ERA’s work, visit www.equalrights.org.

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