Pay Equity bill wins 58 to 41!!!! Oh, wait….

22 Dec

 

You’d think that kind of vote would be a victory, but not in the U.S. Senate. On Nov. 17, the Senate voted to derail the Paycheck Fairness Act (58-41) by defeating the motion to proceed. The Senate rejected the PFA despite White House support and polls showing 84 percent of Americans supported such a bill. What’s especially disappointing is that the PFA became a victim of arcane Senate rules. The de facto filibuster by Senate Republicans, including all the GOP women, ensured that the Senate never advanced to a debate on the bill’s merits.

The Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182/S. 3772) would have updated the landmark Equal Pay Act of 1963 by closing loopholes, strengthening incentives to prevent pay discrimination, and prohibiting retaliation against workers who inquire about employers’ wage practices or disclose their own wages. On average, women still make only 77 cents for every dollar men earn. (PDF)  The issue of pay equity isn’t just about fairness, it’s about putting food on the kitchen table. It’s not simply a women’s issue, it’s a family issue. In this struggling economy, women’s wages are critical to making ends meet. When women aren’t paid fairly, families suffer.

While AAUW remains deeply troubled by the Senate vote, and thus the failure of the PFA in the 111th Congress, we remain confident that we’ll eventually win this fight. AAUW’s leadership of this legislative campaign clearly demonstrates that progress can be made even in the face of defeat, and that our organization and the broad coalition we continue to lead is stronger and more determined for the effort.

As AAUW continues its leadership on a range of efforts to close the pay gap — from legislative and regulatory efforts to activities such as salary negotiation workshops and groundbreaking research — we continue to look to our bipartisan membership to educate their communities and their elected officials about the very real need to address a pay gap that has lingered far too long. Go to www.aauw.org to join us in the fight.

 

This post is brought to you by Lisa Maatz, the director of Public Policy and Government Relations at the American Association of University Women. Reposted with permission from Common Blog.

 

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