ACLU Marks Equal Pay Day

April 20, 2010 12:00 am

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Congress Must Pass Paycheck Fairness Act To Close Wage Gap

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union recognizes Equal Pay Day today, the day that marks how far a woman would have to have worked into 2010 to earn the same as a man did in just 2009. On this year’s Equal Pay Day, the ACLU urges the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182), a bill which would provide a much needed update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963, closing loopholes in the current law, strengthening weak remedies and taking steps to finally close the wage gap.

“It’s unacceptable that nearly 50 years after the Equal Pay Act became law, women, on average, still make only 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man,” said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “The Paycheck Fairness Act is the way to level the playing field by finally establishing equality in the American workplace and ensuring that anyone, regardless of gender, can see his or her work rewarded with a fair paycheck. Every worker in America deserves to bring home equal pay for equal work.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act would provide workers with the tools they need to ensure equal compensation, including fair remedies, additional enforcement tools and technical assistance and training for both employers and employees. 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 earlier this month on paycheck equality. The Paycheck Fairness Act has 36 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.

“American women have waited long enough for fair compensation,” said Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Legislative Counsel. “In this economic climate, there is no better time to swiftly pass this law. Allowing women to bring home fair pay is not only fundamental to American ideals of equality, it is necessary for families’ economic security and to 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. Wage discrimination also reduces women’s retirement income. The Paycheck Fairness Act is an important safety net for working families, and we urge the Senate to move this bill forward.”

A letter from the ACLU to the Senate in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act is available at:

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