ACLU Marks 47th Anniversary Of Equal Pay Act With Call To Pass Paycheck Fairness Act

June 9, 2010 3:35 pm

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June 9, 2010

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union marks the 47th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act with a call for the Senate to pass S. 182, the Paycheck Fairness Act. President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963 into law 47 years ago Thursday, prohibiting wage discrimination based on sex. However, since its passage, loopholes and weak remedies have watered down the Act’s effectiveness. Forty-seven years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, women still make, on average, 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. The Paycheck Fairness Act would provide a much needed update to the Equal Pay Act, closing loopholes in the current law, strengthening weak remedies and taking steps to finally close the wage gap.

Last year, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Paycheck Fairness Act; now the Senate has turned its attention to closing the wage gap, holding a hearing this past April on pay equality. According to a recent nationwide poll1 of registered voters, the Paycheck Fairness Act has the backing of the American public; 84 percent of registered voters polled said they supported “a new law that would provide women more tools to get fair pay in the workplace.” Large majorities of both men and women and Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike strongly support such a law. The Paycheck Fairness Act has 40 co-sponsors in the Senate and is poised for passage. The ACLU calls on the Senate to take swift action on the Paycheck Fairness Act so that women can bring home the pay they have rightfully earned.

The following can be attributed to Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Legislative Counsel:

“The anniversary of the Equal Pay Act should serve as a reminder to Senators that the American workplace is still plagued by pay inequality. American voters, regardless of their political party, overwhelmingly support legislation that would allow women to earn a fair paycheck, and we hope the Senate hears this message from the voters and acts on it by joining the House in passing the Paycheck Fairness Act. American women have waited long enough for fair compensation.

“In this economic climate, there is no better time to swiftly pass this law. Paying women fairly for the work they do is not only fundamental to American ideals of equality, it is necessary for families’ economic survival and a vital part of the nation’s economic recovery. Pay discrimination forces single-female households and families dependent on two wage earners to live on less than they deserve. We urge the Senate to swiftly bring this bill to the floor for a vote. ”

To see the polling data on registered voter support for the Paycheck Fairness Act, go to:

1Polling was conducted by Lake Research Partners. The ACLU, along with coalition partners, commissioned the data.
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