November 16, 2010
Vote Is Crucial For Fairness And Economic Survival, Says ACLU
WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today urged Senators to vote to move forward the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182/S. 3772), a bill that would help women be fairly compensated for their work and give them the tools necessary to close the wage gap. A cloture vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a much needed update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963, is currently scheduled for this Wednesday, November 17. If the bill fails to reach the 60 votes necessary to avoid a filibuster, the Paycheck Fairness Act will be blocked from consideration on its merits, regardless of whether it is supported by a majority of the Senate. The ACLU called on Senators to support this crucial measure.
“There are only a few days left in this Congress for the Senate to change the lives of millions of American families. This critical bill has never had more support than it does right now, and in the current economy, American families have never needed it more,” said Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Legislative Counsel. “It’s an affront to American values of fairness that women, on average, continue to be paid less than men doing the same jobs. With the majority of families relying on women’s paychecks for economic survival, it’s absolutely essential that every worker, regardless of gender, brings home every dollar he or she earns. Voters from all political parties support pay equity; we hope the Senate will hear that message tomorrow and join together to support the Paycheck Fairness Act.”
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 requires that men and women be given “equal pay for equal work.” Unfortunately, the Equal Pay Act has not been able to achieve its promise of closing the wage gap because of limited enforcement tools and inadequate remedies.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would provide a crucial update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963, closing loopholes in the current law by giving workers the tools they need to ensure equal compensation, including fair remedies and additional enforcement tools. The bill also provides technical assistance to employers and important safeguards for small businesses.
Last year, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, and President Obama, Vice President Biden and other senior members of the administration have announced their support for this important legislation. Recently, a report from the White House National Economic Council underscored the need for the Paycheck Fairness Act as an important step toward the economic security of women and our nation’s families. The bill currently has 40 co-sponsors in the Senate and if cloture is reached Wednesday, the bill is poised for passage this week.
A letter from the ACLU to the Senate in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act is available at: