“Empowering women in our society is not only a moral and civil rights issue, but it’s also critical for the economic future of our nation.”
– Arturo Carmona
Ending the War on Women means dismantling the oppressive policies that restrict women’s rights and supporting policies and programs that help all women and their families thrive. That means understanding and setting public policy based on the dignity and equality of women.
Republican control of all three branches of government poses a real threat to the advancement we’ve made in the fight for gender equality and women’s reproductive rights. Now more than ever, we need champions and allies to fight for the fundamental rights of women to have equal pay for equal work, full control of their bodies, and access to quality, affordable health care and childcare.
What’s good for women is good for all of us.
It’s been more than 50 years since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act (EPA), yet women continue to make 80 cents to every dollar a man makes for the same work.
Perhaps one of the best ways to fix this disparity is the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. This legislation written by Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congresswoman Rose De Lauro would:
Improve Equal Pay Act Remedies
The act toughens the remedy provisions of the EPA by allowing prevailing plaintiffs to recover compensatory and punitive damages.
Facilitate Class Action Equal Pay Act Claims
The Act allows an EPA lawsuit to proceed as a class action in conformity with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP). Class actions are important because they ensure that relief will be provided to all those who are injured by the unlawful practice.
Prohibit Employer Retaliation
The Act generally prohibits employers from punishing employees for sharing salary information with their coworkers and makes clear that employees cannot contract away or waive their rights to discussing and disclosing wages.
Close the Loophole in the Employer Defense
The Act tightens this affirmative defense so that it can excuse a pay differential for men and women only where the employer can show that the differential is truly caused by something other than sex, is related to job performance and consistent with business necessity, and accounts for the entirety of the pay differential.
Modify the “Establishment” Requirement
The act allows wage comparisons to be made between employees in offices in the same county or similar political subdivisions as well as between broader groups of offices in some commonsense circumstances.
Improve Collection of Pay Information by the EEOC
The act requires the EEOC to issue regulations within eight months to provide for the collection of compensation and other employment-related data, as analyzed by the race, sex, and national origin of employees.
Reinstate Pay Equity Programs and Enforcement at the Department of Labor
The act reinstates the collection of gender-based data in the Current Employment Statistics survey. It sets standards for conducting systematic wage discrimination analyses by the agency that oversees the nondiscrimination and affirmative action obligations of federal contractors.