CORRECTED: ACLU Commends Obama Administration For Supporting Paycheck Fairness Act

July 20, 2010 12:00 am

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The following release has been updated to reflect the fact that the Paycheck Fairness Act has 40 co-sponsors, not 42. We apologize for the error.

Senate Should Swiftly Pass Bill

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today commended the Obama administration for announcing its support for the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182), a bill that would take steps toward finally closing the wage gap between men and women by closing loopholes in the current law and strengthening weak remedies. Passage of the bill is one of the recommendations made by the administration’s Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force. The bill would provide a much needed update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would provide workers with the tools they need to ensure equal compensation, including fair remedies, additional enforcement tools and technical assistance and training for both employers and employees. Last year, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Paycheck Fairness Act; the bill currently has 40 co-sponsors in the Senate and is poised for passage.

The ACLU calls on the Senate to take swift action on the Paycheck Fairness Act so that women can bring home the pay they have rightfully earned.

The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“It’s unacceptable that nearly 50 years after the Equal Pay Act became law, women, on average, still make only 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. The Paycheck Fairness Act is the way to level the playing field by finally establishing equality in the American workplace and ensuring that anyone, regardless of gender, can see his or her work rewarded with a fair paycheck. Every worker in America deserves to bring home equal pay for equal work, and the Obama administration is to be commended for placing its support behind this vital bill.

“In this economic climate, there is no better time to swiftly pass this law. Allowing women to bring home fair pay is not only fundamental to American ideals of equality, it is necessary for families’ economic security and to the nation’s economic recovery. Pay discrimination forces single-female households and families dependent on two wage earners to live on less than they deserve. Wage discrimination also reduces women’s retirement income. The Paycheck Fairness Act is an important safety net for working families, and we urge the Senate to move this bill forward.”

A letter from the ACLU to the Senate in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act is available at:

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