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Urge Congress to End Pay Discrimination

American women today make, on average, 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. This disparity is even worse for women of color: African American women make 63 cents for every dollar earned by their white, male counterparts, and for Latina women, it's 54 cents. The Paycheck Fairness Act would deter pay discrimination by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and by barring retaliation against workers who disclose their wages. 

Urge your Member of Congress to support the Paycheck Fairness Act!

Background on Paycheck Fairness and related legislation

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. Now more than ever, women and families rely on women's work; more than 40 percent of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are the sole or primarily source of the family's income. Whether a woman is supporting herself or an entire family, it is simply unjust that she would earn less for the same, hard work.

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 to ensuring fair pay for women in the workplace.

On April 8, 2014—Equal Pay Day 2014—President Obama signed 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 was another important stride towards closing the pay gap.

These advances have sparked important progress toward ending pay discrimination. Yet, there is still work to be done. The Paycheck Fairness Act would provide critical additional protections for working women, a key step toward ensuring that gender is not a barrier to earning equal pay for equal work.

Jewish values and pay discrimination

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).

More information

For more information on this issue, visit the RAC's page on pay equity or contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Susannah Cohen at (202) 387-2800.