ACLU Disappointed in Senate’s Failure to Consider Fair Pay Legislation

April 23, 2008 12:00 am

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Contact: (202) 675-2312, media@dcaclu.orgWashington, DC – The American Civil Liberties Union expressed its extreme disappointment in the Senate’s failure to address H.R. 2831, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The bill failed to garner the 60 votes necessary to avoid a filibuster and compel a floor vote. The goal of the Fair Pay Act was to restore the right of American workers to seek justice if they find themselves subject to wage discrimination, a right jeopardized by the 2007 Supreme Court decision Ledbetter v. Goodyear.

“Thanks to this vote, unscrupulous employers can rest easy in the knowledge that they will not be called to task for paying certain employees less because of their age, sex, race, national origin, disability or religion – so long as the employee is kept in the dark for 180 days,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “No employer should benefit from wage discrimination, but this vote allows them to do exactly that.”

“We urge the Senate to make every effort to overcome this procedural roadblock and to work to restore the rights of all Americans to seek justice if they are the victims of wage discrimination,” added Fredrickson.

“We are deeply saddened that members of the Senate would put political maneuvering before Americans’ rights by blocking this important legislation from receiving a vote on its merits,” said Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Policy Counsel for Civil Rights. “This modest, commonsense proposal was not an expansion, but merely the restoration of civil rights that had been in place for several decades before the Ledbetter decision. American workers should not soon forget that – in the midst of an economic downturn, no less – the Senate passed on an opportunity to ensure that we are all paid fairly.”

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