The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Claire O'Brien, (202) 675-2312;

ACLU Marks 47th Anniversary of Equal Pay Act With Call to Pass Paycheck Fairness Act

New Data Shows Overwhelming Support for the Bill


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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

(212) 549-2666