On Equal Pay Day, ACLU Welcomes Reintroduction Of Paycheck Fairness Act

April 12, 2011 12:00 am

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ACLU Joins Congressional Press Conference To Call For Passage Of Strong Pay Discrimination Law

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today welcomed the reintroduction of the Paycheck Fairness Act in both the Senate and House by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). The ACLU joined with Rep. DeLauro and other major women’s rights groups in announcing the bill’s reintroduction in a teleconference earlier today. The reintroduction of the bill coincides with Equal Pay Day, the day that marks how far a woman must work into 2011, after working all of 2010, to earn the same as a man did in 2010 alone. On this year’s Equal Pay Day, the ACLU urged Congress to take up the Paycheck Fairness Act and pass this important bill.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would provide a much-needed update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963, closing loopholes in the current law, strengthening weak remedies and taking other steps to finally close the gender wage gap. In the previous Congress, the bill passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives but fell just two votes short of moving forward in the Senate, even though a majority of senators supported the legislation.

“With the reintroduction of the Paycheck Fairness Act, Congress has another chance to do the right thing and give women the tools they need to fight for fair pay,” 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 an equal paycheck.”

Nearly 50 years after passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women still make, on average, 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen the Equal Pay Act by requiring employers to demonstrate that wage differences between men and women doing the same work stem from factors other than sex. It would also provide workers with the means they need to ensure equal compensation, including fair remedies, additional enforcement tools and technical assistance and training for both employers and employees.

“Women workers and the families who depend on them cannot wait any longer for equal pay,” said Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel. “It’s absolutely critical to the country’s economic recovery, as well as to principles of equality and fairness, that all workers bring home what they have rightfully earned. The Paycheck Fairness Act is an important safety net for working families and we applaud Sen. Mikulski and Rep. DeLauro for the reintroduction of this important bill.”

The ACLU urged its members to mark Equal Pay Day by contacting their members of Congress encouraging them to support the Paycheck Fairness Act.

The ACLU’s letter to Congress in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act is available at:

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