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ACLU Marks Women’s Equality Day With Call for Paycheck Fairness Act
Senate Must Make Final Push to Pass Crucial Bill
WASHINGTON - August 26 - The
American Civil Liberties Union today celebrated Women's Equality Day by
renewing its call for the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act (S.
182), a bill that would finally close the wage gap between men and
women. Women's Equality Day this year marks 90 years since the passage
of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed to women the fundamental right to vote.
"As we mark the 90th anniversary of a watershed moment in American history, we are reminded that the struggle for women's equality continues," said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "Looking back on past victories highlights just how much further America needs to go. 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."
The Paycheck Fairness Act would provide a crucial update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by closing loopholes in the current law and strengthening weak remedies. The Paycheck Fairness Act would also 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; the bill currently has 40 co-sponsors in the Senate and is poised for passage.
"As the 19th Amendment gave women equality at the polls, the Paycheck Fairness Act will give women equality in the workplace," added Murphy. "Passing this crucial legislation is the next step in the fight for equal rights, and the Senate must ensure that women today and for generations to come can bring home the pay they rightfully earn."
"Women's Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also serves as an important reminder that though women have won political rights, we must still work to achieve economic rights," said Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Legislative Counsel. "In this economy, equal pay is not only fundamental to American ideals of fairness, it is necessary for families' economic survival. We have never been closer to passing this crucial legislation; 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: www.aclu.org/womens-rights/