By Robert Schlesinger |
In 2009, the first piece of legislation signed by President Obama was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This important legislation ensures that women are able to take their case to court if they are subject to paycheck discrimination because of their gender. However, there is still more that must be done to address the wage gap facing American women.
On average, women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns for doing the same job. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act ensures that women can challenge a wage gap in court. The Paycheck Fairness Act would give women the legal tools they need to close the wage gap and it would close loopholes that have been used to get around the Equal Pay Act.
Too often, women cannot address gender discrimination in the workplace because they cannot access the information they need to determine whether or not this discrimination is occurring. The Paycheck Fairness Act would give women the legal tools and safeguards they need to address this very problem. The Paycheck Fairness Act would toughen the requirements for employers to demonstrate a legitimate business reason for a wage gap between its male and female employees and would prohibit retaliation against employees who sought information on how their pay compared to that of their co-workers.
When women make less, it hurts our economy, our communities and our families. It means less money in take-home pay that can be spent on goods and services. It's also unfair to our mothers, sisters, and daughters. They earn the right to equal pay each and every day by punching in and doing their jobs as well as anyone, and their compensation should reflect their talent, commitment, and creativity.
Equal pay for women is critical to families' economic security and our nation's economic recovery. We don't know where Mitt Romney stands on this issue, but the president has made his position crystal clear: Pass the bill. President Obama is committed to equal pay because he knows that we're all in it together. Ensuring basic fairness in our economy is a central tenet of creating an economy that's built to last. Congress should do what's right for our economy and our families and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
About Debbie Wasserman Schultz Chair of the Democratic National Committee
Diana Furchtgott-Roth Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
Penny Nance President and CEO of Concerned Women for America