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Lilly Ledbetter and members of Congress with President Barack Obama as he finished signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009.
Tuesday is the fourth anniversary of the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act—the first bill Barack Obama signed into law as president. But while the Ledbetter Act was a good step, women still lack necessary protections against pay discrimination, and Republicans are still blocking a bill that would offer some of those protections. Last week, Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Rep. Rosa DeLauro reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act, which was filibustered in the Senate in 2010 and 2012.

The Paycheck Fairness Act closes loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963, in ways that would have helped Lilly Ledbetter herself, as the ACLU's Deborah J. Vagins explains:

It would also provide more remedies for wage discrimination and prohibit retaliation against workers who inquire about wages or disclose their own wages to their co-workers. This provision is particularly significant when you consider that Ms. Ledbetter could not sue for so long because she did not know about her discriminatorily low wages due to a company nondisclosure policy. Nearly 50 percent of employers either discourage or outright ban employees from discussing their wages. As Lilly herself discusses, had the Paycheck Fairness Act been the law when she was working at Goodyear, she would have been able to find out that her pay was less than her male co-workers without fear of retaliation and would have more easily been able to do something about it.
The need for stronger equal pay protections isn't just an abstraction:
The most recent data shows that woman working full time, year round are paid 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. This is a statistic that is unchanged from not only four years ago, but this gap has remained the same for a decade. For women of color, it’s much worse, with the typical African-American woman paid 64 cents and the typical Latina woman paid 55 cents for every dollar paid to a white, non-Hispanic man. A gap in wages occurs at all education levels, after work experience is taken into account, and it gets worse as women’s careers progress.
That's rent. It's groceries. It's medical bills. It's tuition for your kids. It's the ability to retire. The Paycheck Fairness Act won't come like a lightning bolt out of the sky and end all discrimination everywhere, but it would give women a fighting chance at fairness.

Tell Congress it's time to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:15 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Got the votes, this time around? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hasn't the senate situation improved?

  •  So many sneaky ways to pay men more (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaraJones, Fulgour

    Huge example in the education world:

    Teachers are paid extra money for coaching sports or sponsoring activities. Schools typically have a salary schedule for these duties. At every school I have been associated with coaches of boys sports get paid more than coaches of girls sports extending even to sports that are equal such as girls track vs. boys track or girls basketball vs. boys basketball.

    Additionally, activities that are perceived as more masculine such as DECA, business clubs, etc...are paid better than activities perceived as feminine like drama and FCCLA.

    And more people are paid to help with things like football and wrestling. One year at my last school, the speech team had 14 students and one paid female coach while the wrestling team had 5 students and 4 paid male coaches. The result of that bias is typically more coaching and additional salary opportunities for men.

  •  And that pay gap is for white women / white men. (0+ / 0-)

    The pay differential is even worse for women of color compared to men of all colors, and men of color compared to white men.

  •  Goes without saying (0+ / 0-)

    so why is it so obvious it still needs to be said.

    What if the Reagan Revolution had not come along to bury the ERA?

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:23:57 AM PST

  •  I've always been bothered (0+ / 0-)

    by nondisclosure policies about one's pay.  (Ever since first encountering the concept as a kid, thanks to the movie Nine to Five.)

    Seriously, what is the supposed purpose of it?  What is the danger of having employees discuss their pay with each other, if it's not that they might find out that they aren't being paid fairly?

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