Today is Equal Pay Day and the National Council of Jewish Women and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism are marking the day by calling for passage of Paycheck Fairness Act. After the jump, their press releases: [[READMORE]]
On Equal Pay Day, NCJW Urges Senate to Pass Paycheck Fairness Act
April 28, 2009, Washington, DC — On the occasion of Equal Pay Day, the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today urged the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and send it to the White House for the president’s signature. NCJW President Nancy Ratzan released the following statement:
"Today, April 28, is Equal Pay Day—the day on the calendar that this year marks how long into 2009 a woman must work to earn what a man made in 2008. NCJW urges Senate passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act which would be a fitting and long overdue way to make Equal Pay Day obsolete in our lifetimes.
"The Paycheck Fairness Act will update the 1963 Equal Pay Act, whose promise of wage equality has never been fulfilled. Forty-six years after enactment of the Equal Pay Act, women still earn only 78 cents on the dollar compared to men. The proposed Paycheck Fairness Act would require employers to show that any disparity in pay between men and women were due to factors other than gender. It would also bar retaliation against employees who share salary and wage information, and it would bring the Equal Pay Act in line with other civil rights laws banning job discrimination.
"Paycheck Fairness has twice passed the House of Representatives but has yet to be taken up by the Senate. Every year of delay costs women workers and their families millions of dollars in lost wages, pensions, and social security benefits. Failure to require paycheck fairness makes it harder for women to save for retirement, home ownership, or pay for a college education for themselves or their children. It hobbles half of our nation’s population. The Paycheck Fairness Act is an essential companion to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. The two work together to move our nation closer toward economic equality and empowerment for all women. NCJW looks forward to the Senate’s passage of this legislation which will further codify this bedrock principle into federal law."
And the RAC:
In observance of Equal Pay Day 2009, Barbara Weinstein, Legislative Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
As we observe Equal Pay Day, we are acutely aware of the wage gap that continues to hinder women in the workplace and of the urgent need to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.
Early this year, we celebrated when Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, providing women the right to challenge wage discrimination in court. But as Ms. Ledbetter has said, “With this bill in place, we now can move forward to where we all hope to be – improving the law, not just restoring it.” We call on Congress to build on the Ledbetter bill and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182). The bill will close legal loopholes that permit pay discrimination as well as bar retaliation against workers who disclose their wages.
As Jews, we are inspired by our tradition, which commands, “You shall not defraud your neighbor, nor rob him; the wages of he who is hired shall not remain with you all night until the morning” (Leviticus 9:13). In these trying economic times, fair pay is not only a right but a vital tool, enabling women to provide for themselves and their families.