April 28, 2008

The Next Steps for Redressing Unequal Pay

Posted in economics, gender, oppression, patriarchy, social justice, U.S. politics at 9:58 am by LB

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I don’t normally blog on equal pay. It is for sure not an area of expertise. I did a short post two weeks ago for Fair Pay Day, because I was so struck by the tangibility of the day in April where men’s and women’s wages would be equal, and how that day is so close to Tax Freedom Day. But it really isn’t an area I’m extremely knowledgeable about (as far as studies go), and I know that the notion of “equal pay” is often contested– studies often come to conflicting conclusions, people often don’t make their terms clear, and there are many different opinions as to who should get equal pay and what counts are equal pay.

These debates are not what this post is about. This is about the Fair Pay Act–the one that on the 23rd a motion to advance it was passed by a majority in the Senate, but didn’t get enough votes to have a debate and vote scheduled on the bill itself. It’s called the Lilly Ledbetter Act, and Suzanne Reissman has an excellent explanation about the history of the bill and what this bill is actually about–check it out here.

Regardless of whether you ‘believe’ that pay discrimination as a result of sexual identity exists or not, there is no reason not to support this bill–because the bill addresses the terms by which pay discrimination can be redressed–and if there is no pay discrimination, then the law won’t need to be utilized!

The next steps for advocating this bill is to contact your Senators. See the National Women’s Law Center for more information on pushing your Senator to get a debate and vote on the bill scheduled.

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