Seven years ago, President Obama signed into law his first piece of legislation. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that undid the damage of a 2007 Supreme Court decision that made it nearly impossible for women to enforce the Equal Pay Act against employers who paid them less than their male counterparts.
The Lilly Ledbetter Act is an important milestone — but it’s only half a solution. What’s needed now is the Paycheck Fairness Act, which makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against workers who share their salary information, and give women additional tools to fight pay discrimination. NOW applauds President Obama for his consistent support for pay equity and his commitment to fairness for all workers.
The gender wage gap has women, on average, making only 79 percent of what men earn. But the widespread piling of racial bias on top of sex discrimination results in a gender-race wage gap that leaves African American women with only 63 cents, and Latinas only 54 cents, to the dollar earned by their white male counterparts.
NOW chapters around the country are working tirelessly to build support for the Paycheck Fairness Act. It’s unacceptable for women to earn a fraction of the pay they deserve, and it’s just as wrong to tell us we’re entitled to only a fraction of fairness and justice.