immediate passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by qzl20249


									          January 14, 2009

          Dear Senator:

          On behalf of working women and their families, we strongly urge you to support
          immediate passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, S. 181, without amendment.
          The Act was passed swiftly by a strong majority of the House last week, and immediate
          Senate action is essential if women are to have critical tools necessary to effectively
          challenge pay discrimination. Taking strong steps toward pay equity is also a critical
          component of any effort to stimulate the economy and ensure self-sufficiency for women
          and their families.

          According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women who work full time earn, on average,
          only 78 cents for every dollar paid to men.i The statistics are even worse for women of
          color. Further, the continuing wage gap not only undermines the economic security of
          women and their families today; it also directly affects women’s retirement security
          down the road.

          Women are particularly vulnerable during this economic downturn and have never
          needed equal pay more. Women are far more likely to live in poverty than men; women
          who head families, Black and Hispanic women, and women over age 65 living alone are
          especially likely to be poor.ii

          Passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is an essential downpayment on addressing these
          dismal realities. As you are aware, the bill would reverse the Supreme Court’s decision
          in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and restore the long-standing interpretation
          of civil rights laws that employees can challenge every discriminatory paycheck they
          receive. It is the only bill that will address the serious problems created by the Ledbetter
          decision, and has been carefully crafted to restore the law that was previously applied by
          the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and nine of the ten federal circuit courts
          to consider the issue.

          Ensuring that women have the ability to redress pay discrimination in court is particularly
          important given that studies have shown discrimination remains a major hurdle to women
          closing the pay gap. The Paycheck Fairness Act, S. 182, also passed by the House, builds
          on the restorative approach of the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. It improves incentives for
          employers to comply with the law, strengthens federal outreach, education and
          enforcement efforts, and signals the need to move forward beyond Ledbetter to truly root
          out pay discrimination.

With the law on your side, great things are possible.
11 Dupont Circle ■ Suite 800 ■ Washington, DC 20036 ■ 202.588.5180 ■ 202.588.5185 Fax ■
As the 111th Congress begins, American women are looking for concrete action to
improve the economic security of working families. We urge you to support
immediate passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act without amendment and
thereafter to quickly take up and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.


Jocelyn Samuels                                                            Marcia D. Greenberger
Vice President for Education                                               Co-President
& Employment

   U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (August 2008). Annual Demographic Survey. Retrieved August 27, 2008,

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