The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Claire O’Brien, (202) 675-2312;

ACLU Calls On Senate To Pass Paycheck Fairness Act Wednesday

Vote Is Crucial For Fairness And Economic Survival, Says ACLU


American Civil Liberties Union today urged Senators to vote to move
forward the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182/S. 3772), a bill that would
help women be fairly compensated for their work and give them the tools
necessary to close the wage gap. A cloture vote on the Paycheck Fairness
Act, a much needed update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963, is currently
scheduled for this Wednesday, November 17. If the bill fails to reach
the 60 votes necessary to avoid a filibuster, the Paycheck Fairness Act
will be blocked from consideration on its merits, regardless of whether
it is supported by a majority of the Senate. The ACLU called on Senators
to support this crucial measure.

are only a few days left in this Congress for the Senate to change the
lives of millions of American families. This critical bill has never had
more support than it does right now, and in the current economy,
American families have never needed it more," said Deborah J. Vagins,
ACLU Legislative Counsel. "It's an affront to American values of
fairness that women, on average, continue to be paid less than men doing
the same jobs. With the majority of families relying on women's
paychecks for economic survival, it's absolutely essential that every
worker, regardless of gender, brings home every dollar he or she earns.
Voters from all political parties support pay equity; we hope the Senate
will hear that message tomorrow and join together to support the
Paycheck Fairness Act."
Equal Pay Act of 1963 requires that men and women be given "equal pay
for equal work." Unfortunately, the Equal Pay Act has not been able to
achieve its promise of closing the wage gap because of limited
enforcement tools and inadequate remedies.
Paycheck Fairness Act would provide a crucial update to the Equal Pay
Act of 1963, closing loopholes in the current law by giving workers the
tools they need to ensure equal compensation, including fair remedies
and additional enforcement tools. The bill also provides technical
assistance to employers and important safeguards for small businesses.
year, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Paycheck
Fairness Act, and President Obama, Vice President Biden and other senior
members of the administration have announced their support for this
important legislation. Recently, a report from the White House National
Economic Council underscored the need for the Paycheck Fairness Act as
an important step toward the economic security of women and our nation's
families. The bill currently has 40 co-sponsors in the Senate and if
cloture is reached Wednesday, the bill is poised for passage this week.
A letter from the ACLU to the Senate in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act is available at:

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