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The House version of the Paycheck Fairness Act was passed in January, and now it's time for Senate action. The House passed both the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, but the Senate considered and passed ONLY the Ledbetter legislation. In order to build up steam for this bill, we need to DOUBLE the number of Senate sponsors; currently, there are only 26 co-sponsors.
Please contact your senators and encourage them to sponsor this important women's rights bill. Our email system will automatically identify those senators who are already co-sponsors, and the message will thank them for their support. So please send this to both of your senators; it's important that we encourage them to round up more support!
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, signed by President Obama on Jan. 29, was an important first step toward ensuring fair pay for women workers. The Paycheck Fairness Act is the next step. It will deter wage discrimination by closing loopholes in the law, and will bar retaliation against workers who disclose their wages. The bill also allows women to receive the same remedies in court for pay discrimination as those subjected to discrimination based on race or national origin. In addition, the Paycheck Fairness Act would authorize the establishment of a grant program to teach women and girls how to acquire better jobs and earn what they're worth. The bill also strengthens guidelines on the collection and publication of wage discrimination information and research.
Guaranteeing that women receive equal pay for equal work will help stimulate the economy and ensure self-sufficiency for women and their families. In light of the economic crisis facing our nation, it is more important than ever to close the wage gap and ensure that victims of wage discrimination have access to fair reparations.
On Jan. 9, the House passed its version of Paycheck Fairness (H.R. 12) in a 256-163 vote along with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay bill (H.R. 11) in a vote of 247-171. The Senate was hurrying to get a bill to the president for signing, so they tabled their Paycheck Fairness bill (S.182) until "later."
Unless advocates gather more sponsors, the Senate may well delay the bill (they do have a busy schedule, as they attempt to get our economy back on its feet and right years of wrongs). If we double the number of sponsors, however, Paycheck Fairness will get serious attention. And since President Obama has promised to continue making issues of pay equity a priority in his administration, he will welcome the Senate's passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Call or email your senators, and urge them to sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act. If one or both of your senators are already sponsors, encourage them to speak to their colleagues about joining them in support of S. 182. If you call the D.C. or state offices, ask to speak to the staff member who handles women's or workplace issues and express your support for the Paycheck Fairness Act. Use the talking points from this alert or from one of the resources below. The passage of this bill is essential to ensuring women's economic security during these uncertain times.
Print and hand these out at any meeting with your senators or their staff:
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National Organization for Women
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