Saturday, January 10, 2009

Boozman Votes Against Equal Pay

Congressman John Boozman (R-AR3) voted twice this week against fair pay for women, but the House on Friday, in a vote of 247-171, overwhelmingly passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R. 11), which boosts a woman’s ability to bring pay discrimination lawsuits. The bill overrules a Supreme Court decision that workers must file a discrimination claim within 180 days of a pay violation, even though many people don’t learn about the wage disparities for years.

In a 256-163 vote, lawmakers also approved the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 12), which closes “loopholes that have enabled employers to evade the 1963 law requiring equal pay for equal work.” Boozman voted against it.

As Justice Ginsburg said in her rare, blistering oral dissent from the bench, at the time the Ledbetter decision was handed down:

In our view, the court does not comprehend, or is indifferent to, the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay discrimination.

Title VII was meant to govern real-world employment practices, and that world is what the court today ignores.

The battle for pay equity now moves forward to the U.S. Senate, where the margins are a bit tighter. Please take some time to call our Senators and voice your support.

Also send a note to UA Chancellor David Gearhart and tell him it is time that women faculty be paid equally with their male colleagues at the University. No more excuses; no more discrimination.

Rosie the Riveter is on her way to getting paid equally with the men at the physical plant. And the office. And the classroom. And wherever else she might be doing an equal job for equal pay.

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