The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Linda Paris, (202) 675-2312; 

ACLU And Women's Groups Brief Senate On Paycheck Fairness Act

Legislation Needed To Close Gender-Based Wage Gap


Civil Liberties Union Legislative Counsel Deborah J. Vagins, along with
Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and leaders in the women's and
business community, briefed Senate staffers today on S. 182, the
Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill to give working women the legal tools
they need to challenge pay discrimination.

show there is still a persistent and pernicious pay gap," said
Vagins. "The fight for equal pay for equal work will not resolve
itself. We need the Paycheck Fairness Act to help create a climate
where wage discrimination is no longer tolerated. This bill eliminates
loopholes and strengthens weak remedies that have made the Equal Pay
Act of 1963 less effective in combating the unlawful wage gap."
highlighted provisions of the Act that would address the severe pay
disparity of black women and Latinas. According to the U.S. Census
Bureau, the average woman earns 78 cents for every dollar that a man
earns. In comparison, African-American women take home only 63 cents
and Latinas only 52 cents for every dollar of a man's wages.
a strong show of support for the Act, Senators Edward M. Kennedy
(D-MA), Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT), Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Barbara
Mikulski (D-MD) circulated a "Dear Colleague" letter inviting other
lawmakers to attend the Senate briefing today because of the critical
role that fair pay for women plays in our economic recovery.
At the
beginning of this Congress, the House of Representatives passed the
Paycheck Fairness Act by a bipartisan vote of 256-163. In addition to
the overwhelming support in the House, President Barack Obama has
signaled his support for strong fair pay legislation.

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

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