The Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199/H.R. 377) would deter pay discrimination by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and barring retaliation against workers who disclose their wages. This bill would strengthen the Equal Pay Act to ensure that it provides effective protection against sex-based pay discrimination, allowing women to receive the same remedies in court for pay discrimination as those subjected to discrimination based on race or national origin. Such steps are necessary and timely in light of the current economic recession, which has made almost 40% of women the primary breadwinners in their household. Americans are counting their pennies, and it is unjust that women continue to earn 77 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by men. And, it is even worse for women of color: African American women make 64 cents for every dollar earned by their white, male counterparts, and for Hispanic women, its 54 cents.
In 2009, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restores the rights of employees who have suffered pay discrimination by clarifying the current statute to allow employers to be sued every time they issue a discriminatory paycheck, regardless of how much time has lapsed since the discrimination first occurred. This legislation was a critical first step in ensuring fair pay for women in the workplace, but the fight for pay equity is a long way from finished.
On Equal Pay Day, April 8, 2014, President Obama will sign an executive order banning retaliation against workers under federal contract who ask about or disclose wages. As one out of five Americans is a federal contractor, this executive action is an important stride towards closing the pay gap.
In emails, faxes and phone calls, please contact your Senators and Representative and urge them to vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199/H.R. 377). The Capitol Switchboard can be reached at 202.224.3121 or you can also send an e-mail by entering your Zip Code. For more information, please contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Sarah Greenberg at 202.387.2800
When you reach your Member of Congress' office, ask to speak to the legislative assistant for labor issues. Tell him/her that you support the Paycheck Fairness Act because:
The Paycheck Fairness Act ensures women are not victims of pay discrimination, by strengthening the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
It is unjust that women continue to earn, on average, 77 cents for every dollar earned by men and that they lack the necessary tools to fight this discrimination.
In today’s economy where almost 40% of working women are primary bread-winners, ensuring equal pay for women is a vital national interest.
As a Reform Jew, my tradition is clear about the importance of paying fair wages. Leviticus 19:13 commands that, “You shall not defraud your neighbor, nor rob him; the wages of he who is hired shall not remain with you all night until the morning.”
Jewish tradition has long recognized the importance of paying fair wages. Leviticus 19:13 commands that, “You shall not defraud your neighbor, nor rob him; the wages of he who is hired shall not remain with you all night until the morning.” Judaism also teaches that all human beings should be treated equally because they are created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God. “And God created humans in God’s own image, in the image of God, God created them; male and female, God created them” (Genesis 1:27).