Paycheck Fairness Bill Necessary to Strengthen Equal Pay Protections

July 31, 2008 12:00 am

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Contact: (202) 675-2312, media@dcaclu.orgWashington, DC – The American Civil Liberties Union urges the House of Representatives to pass H.R. 1338, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would amend the Equal Pay Act, one of the most important laws addressing pay discrimination. The bill, with 230 co-sponsors to date, would strengthen and improve the effectiveness of the Equal Pay Act by requiring employers to demonstrate that differences in wages among employees are not based on gender, strengthening penalties for equal pay violations, bolstering the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) ability to handle pay discrimination cases, and requiring the EEOC to develop regulations directing employers to collect wage data, reported by race, sex and national origin, of employees.

The following can be attributed to ACLU Washington Legislative Office Director Caroline Fredrickson:

“The Paycheck Fairness Act is absolutely necessary to protect the economic stability of American families on the edge. It is unacceptable that in 2008, women still make only 77 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts, and the disparity is only greater for minority women. African American women make only 64 cents and Latina women earn only 52 cents for every dollar made by a white man. The consequences can have lasting effects on women and families: unequal pay forces single-mother households and families dependent on two incomes to live on less than they rightfully deserve, and reduces women’s retirement earnings. In this troubled economy, no worker should be paid less than she deserves simply because of her gender.

“Last summer, the House of Representatives acted to protect victims of workplace discrimination by passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act is another critical weapon in the battle against sex discrimination in the workplace. We are disappointed, if not surprised, to learn that the president has indicated he’ll veto this legislation. So we urge the House of Representatives to stand up for equal pay and basic fairness for all American workers by supporting H.R. 1338.”

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