Women deserve equal pay for equal work!
Women continue to earn less than men. In
2012, the last year for which we have data, women earned 76.5 cents for each
dollar earned by a man—a figure which has remained essentially unchanged since
2001. The statistics for women of color are even more staggering, with African
American women earning 64 cents and Latinas only 54 cents for each dollar
earned by a white man.
This practice is bad for women, bad for families, and bad for our local economies.
April 8 is recognized as Equal
Pay Day because it marks the date a woman’s salary finally catches up with a
man’s salary from the previous year. Additional “Equal Pay Days” throughout the
year mark the even higher discrepancies for particular groups of women: June 12
for mothers, July 16 for African American women, and November 12 for Latinas. The
Senate voted down the Paycheck Fairness Act earlier this year, which would have
taken a critical step in the right direction to eliminate the gender wage gap.
Act now! Urge your Senators to vote in support of the
Paycheck Fairness Act.
The most blatant forms of pay
discrimination based on gender are illegal, but current law is too narrow to serve as an
effective deterrent or tool for enforcement. The Paycheck Fairness Act would
help narrow the gender pay gap by closing some of the loopholes in current law
and give employees the legal tools they need to challenge the wage gap itself.
Specifically, the PFA would:
- Require employers to demonstrate that wage differentials
between men and women holding the same position and doing the same work stem
from factors other than sex;
- Prohibit retaliation against workers who inquire about their
employers’ wage practices or disclose their own wages, and permit reasonable
comparisons between employees within clearly defined geographical areas to
determine fair wages
- Strengthen penalties for equal pay violations;
- Provide guidelines to show employers how to evaluate jobs
with the goal of eliminating unfair disparities;
- Encourage proactive
enforcement of equal pay laws by re-instating the collection of wage-related
data and providing training for the workers who enforce our equal pay laws
- Modernize the Equal
Pay Act to make it more in line with the class action procedures available
under Title VII.
President Obama has signed an
executive order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against
workers who discuss their salaries. We must extend these same basic privileges to
all working women!
As faithful advocates, we know
we must respond to the command in Leviticus 19:13, “Do not defraud or rob your
neighbor. Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.” Join us in
taking action - Ask your Senators to continue to shed light on the issue
with each passing Equal Pay Day by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act!
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