Support Equal Pay for Equal Work Co-sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act

Media 04.8,11

Recipient: U.S. Senate

Dear Senator:

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged
by its diverse membership of over 200 national organizations with
promoting and protecting the rights of all persons in the United States,
is writing to urge you to become an original cosponsor of the Paycheck
Fairness Act.

The Paycheck Fairness Act, which will be reintroduced by Sen. Barbara
Mikulski (D-MD), would provide the first-ever update to the Equal Pay Act
of 1963 (EPA).The EPA made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages
to men and women who perform substantially the same work. The Paycheck
Fairness Act would close loopholes in the EPA that have diluted its
effectiveness in combating unfair and unequal pay. While the EPA has
helped to narrow the wage gap between men and women in our workforce,
significant disparities remain and need to be addressed. Due to the
importance of this bill for millions of women and working families, we
urge Senators to support the Paycheck Fairness Act.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would:

  • Ensure that women can obtain the same
    remedies for sex-based pay discrimination as those available to victims
    of discrimination based on race and national origin;
  • Eliminate unfair defenses to pay discrimination currently available
    to employers;
  • Prohibit employer retaliation against employees who disclose or
    discuss their salaries;
  • Improve wage data collection;
  • Make clear that individuals may compare themselves to similarly
    situated employees to determine whether wage discrimination exists, even
    if those employees do not work in the same physical location.

In today’s economic climate, women’s wages are critical components of
working families’ struggle to make ends meet. Women in particular are
often forced to raise their families on incomes lower than male
colleagues performing the same jobs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau,
women who work full time still earn, on average, only 77 cents for every
dollar men earn. In 2008, women were 35 percent more likely to live in
poverty than men. The statistics are even worse for women of color. The
Paycheck Fairness Act would help ensure that women workers are not
shortchanged, thus promoting stable family incomes and preventing the
kinds of home foreclosures and credit defaults that precipitated the
recent recession.

We urge you to support economic security for working families by becoming
an original cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Please contact Teri
Curtis in Senator Mikulski’s office at 202.224.4654 or
[email protected] to become an original cosponsor of the
Paycheck Fairness Act. If you have questions about this letter, or the
position taken by The Leadership Conference, please contact Lexer Quamie,
counsel at (202) 466-3648, or Nancy Zirkin at (202) 263-2880.


Wade Henderson
President & CEO

Nancy Zirkin
Executive Vice President