Saturday, July 26, 2008

Paycheck Fairness Act

The University of Arkansas administration has failed to address our request for fair pay for all and continues to pay women faculty members less than their male colleagues. The House is expected to vote next week (the week of July 28) on the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1338), providing a critical opportunity for Congress to make real progress on pay equity. Even if you have contacted Congressman Boozman about this legislation before, we now ask you again to urge him to vote yes on this legislation and oppose any attempts to weaken it.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would update and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963, closing loop holes and improving the law's effectiveness. The Paycheck Fairness Act would, among other things, deter wage discrimination by strengthening penalties for equal pay violations, and by prohibiting retaliation against workers who inquire about employers' wage practices or disclose their own wages. The bill also requires employers to show that wage gaps are truly a result of factors other than sex, collect better data on wages, reinstate activities that promote equal pay at the Department of Labor, and develop training for women and girls on salary negotiations. The bill's measured approach ensures that women can obtain the same remedies as those discriminated against based on race.

The 2007 AAUW report, Behind the Pay Gap, shows that just one year out of college, women working full time already earn less than their male colleagues, even when they have the same major and occupation. Ten years after graduation, the pay gap widens. With a record 70 million women in the workforce, wage discrimination hurts the majority of American families. In addition, wage discrimination lowers total lifetime earnings, reducing women's benefits from Social Security and pension plans and inhibiting their ability to save not only for retirement but for other lifetime goals such as buying a home and paying for a college education.

Equal pay for equal work is a simple matter of justice for women, and a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act is a critical step forward in our goal to close the persistent and sizable wage gaps between men and women.

Take Action! To urge Congressman Boozman to support the Paycheck Fairness Act when it comes up for a vote next week, simply CLICK HERE, enter your zip code and click "Go!" to be taken to the "Take Action" section. There you can compose and send your message.

No comments: