Pay Equity Legislation and Federal Advocacy
To address pay discrimination, the ACLU advocates for the passage of legislation that protects the right to go to court to fight discrimination. This advocacy includes fighting for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which in 2009 gave employees back their day in court to challenge discriminatory pay practices, and the Paycheck Fairness Act, which will give employees the legal tools they need to challenge the wage gap itself.
The ACLU also works to change unfair employment practices that disproportionately harm women suffering from intersecting forms of discrimination and perpetuate inequality on racial, ethnic, and national origin grounds, such as the exclusion of home care workers from wage and overtime protections under federal law.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act
The Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes prohibited the women of Wal-Mart from joining together to fight discrimination in a single lawsuit, putting in place strict new standards for bringing class action employment discrimination claims and taking away an important weapon for fighting discrimination in the workplace.
The ACLU has been a leader in developing and advocating for the Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act, a federal bill that would undo the damage done by the Supreme Court and restore workers’ rights to combat systemic workplace discrimination in a group action. By giving workers back an important tool to fight discrimination in court, it would restore the effectiveness of the nation’s civil rights laws.
- On the First Anniversary of Wal-Mart v. Dukes: Stand Up or Be Trampled (blog)
- Coalition Letter to EEOC regarding National Origin Discrimination (advocacy)
- ACLU Comments on Strategic Enforcement Plan (advocacy)
- Coalition Letter on Strategic Enforcement Plan (advocacy)
- Coalition Sign-on Letter in Support of the Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act (advocacy)
Department of Labor Federal Advocacy on Fair Pay
We also work to protect the roughly 26 million people who are employed by federal contractors nationwide through our advocacy with the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP), which is charged with enforcing the affirmative action and equal employment opportunities required of those who do business with the federal government. In a recent victory, the agency rescinded two regulations dating back to 2006 that had hampered its enforcement power—a move that ACLU had long called for.
Rescission of 2006 Guidance
- ACLU Comments to Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs on Proposed Data Collection Tool (advocacy)
- Paycheck Fairness Coalition Sign-On Comments to Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs on Proposed Data Collection Tool (advocacy)
- Employment Task Force Sign-On Comments to Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs on Proposed Data Collection Tool (advocacy)
Home Care Workers
There are approximately two million home care workers in the U.S. These workers, 90 percent of whom are women and nearly 50 percent people of color, have been denied basic labor protections for decades The ACLU, on behalf of these workers, advocates for minimum wages and overtime pay for more workers.
- Protections for Home Care Workers: Ending An Unjust Legacy (blog)
- ACLU Comments on the Department of Labor’s Regulation Review (advocacy)
- Comments In Support Of The Wage And Hour Division’s Proposed Changes To The Companionship And Live-In Worker Regulations Under The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (advocacy)
- Coalition Letter: Proposed Rule on Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act to Domestic Service (advocacy)
In order to participate in the job market as equals to men, women must have the opportunities to train and compete for good jobs with high wages. Pay inequities can arise when women are “steered” into professions based on gender stereotypes.
- We Can't Wait For Fair Pay (blog)
- ACLU Factsheet on Anti-Retaliation Executive Order – January 2013 (advocacy)
- ACLU Letter to President Obama on Executive Order Banning Retaliation for Wage Inquiries in Federal Contracting (advocacy)
- Urge President Obama to Ban Retaliation in Federal Contracting (action)
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