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  • Archive for the ‘Pay Equity’ Category

    Legislative Update: Paycheck Fairness Act

    Thursday, February 5th, 2009

    With the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed, the pay equity community turns its attentions to the Paycheck Fairness Act. This legislation was introduced with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and was approved by the House, but has yet to reach the Senate.

    The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and allow it to fulfill its promise that women would receive equal pay for equal work, a promise that has remained unfulfilled now for forty five years. The EPA narrowed the wage gap, which previously had women earning 59 cents to a man’s dollar, but so far it still has not been able to close it. Women now make 78 cents to a mans dollar, an negligible increase from 2006 when women made 77 cents. The Paycheck Fairness Act would prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who share salary information. This information is often key to uncovering instances of pay discrimination. The bill would also ensure that if there are pay-disparities, they are based on legitimate work-related reasons rather than gender. Essentially, it would close the loopholes that riddled the EPA and create systems and tools that would offer women legal protection from pay discrimination.

    We will continue providing you with updates on the Paycheck Fairness Act. For more information, check out these resources:

    Lilly Ledbetter Passes in the Senate!

    Friday, January 23rd, 2009

    (Interview of Lilly Ledbetter following the Senate passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: from the National Womens Law Center, http://www.nwlc.org/)

    The Senate passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act yesturday with a vote of 61 to 36. This will be the first piece of legislation Congress sends to newly elected President Obama for his approval. It’s a fitting first bill for the President, who incorporated Ms. Ledbetter’s story into his campaign ads and entered DC on his inaugural whistlestop tour in the company of Ms. Ledbetter herself.

    So what does it all mean? Will the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act close the wage gap once and for all? Not quite. This is an important step towards pay equity, a step which will allow women to fight back against unfair wages by making each unfair paycheck count as a new act of discrimination. Now, no matter when a woman finds out that she’s been discriminated against, she can still take action. But there is still more to be done to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal labor.

    One of the next steps for pay equity may be the Paycheck Fairness Act. This companion piece to the Fair Pay Act was passed by the House but so far has not made it to the Senate. According to Ledbetter “One bill fixes a past mistake, and the other makes sure that such a mistake won’t happen again.” 46 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act (EPA), women are still earning 78 cents to a man’s dollar. The Fair Pay Act would update the EPA and close the loopholes that have hindered its success.

    [The Paycheck Fairness Act is Essential to Combatting Pay Discrimination Against Women in the Workplace] National Partnership for Women and Families
    [The Fair Pay Campaign] NWLC
    [From the Desk of Lilly Ledbetter] AAUW

    Pay Equity: Do You Have Five Minutes?

    Friday, January 16th, 2009

    As the Senate proceeds with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the recently House-approved Paycheck Fairness Act glimmers on the horizon, it’s a great time to find out more about pay equity. Women currently make 78 cents to a man’s dollar, which over time adds up to $1,200,000 less in income than men over a lifetime for college educated women. For high school educated women, the lost earnings amount to a whopping $700,000.

    Want to get involved, but don’t know where to start? Here are five ways you can learn more about pay equity in five minutes:

    1) Got Cents?: The Fair Pay Cents quiz was created by the National Committee on Pay Equity to test your knowledge on the wage gap. Click here to take the quiz!

    2) Know Your Rights: Do your quiz results have you wanting to learn more? In 2006, then-Senator Hillary Clinton hosted a “Pay Equity for Women” seminar where she released “Know What to Ask and Know Your Rights: A Pay Equity Guide on How to Help Yourself in the Workplace.” This brief guide outlines tips for successful pay negotiations and what you should do if you suspect that you’ve been a victim of pay discrimination. Click here to download the pdf.

    3) Tell a Friend: Want to inform your friends about pay inequity? Why not send them a “Keep the Change” card from AAUW? AAUW recently launched their “Keep the Change Until Women Have Real Change” campaign. Tell your friends about pay equity by visiting http://www.aauw.org/postcards/keepthechange.cfm

    4) Tell a Senator: The Lilly Ledbetter Paycheck Fairness Act is currently being discussed in the Senate and will be up for a vote in the very near future. Let your senators know if pay equity is important to you by contacting them. You can find contact information for your senators at www.senate.gov. Not sure what to say? AAUW has a message you can send via e-mail and will send it for you: all you have to do is enter your name and zip code. Find out more by visiting the AAUW website.

    5) Stay tuned: We will continue posting updates on the status of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act as it moves through the Senate. So check back for updates this week!

    WISER

    About Us

    WISER is a nonprofit organization that works to help women, educators and policymakers understand the important issues surrounding women's retirement income. WISER creates a variety of consumer publications including fact sheets, booklets and a quarterly newsletter that explain in easy-to-understand language the complex issues surrounding Social Security, divorce, pay equity, pensions, savings and investments, banking, home-ownership, long-term care and disability insurance.

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