The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Support the Paycheck Fairness Act, S. 3220: Vote in Favor of Cloture, Against any Amendments, and for Final Passage

Advocacy Letter - 06/04/12

Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: U.S. Senate

Dear Senator:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of over 210 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States, we urge you to support the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 3220), by voting in favor of cloture, against any weakening amendments, and for final passage. The Paycheck Fairness Act would help ensure that women workers are not shortchanged, thus promoting stable family incomes and preventing the kinds of home foreclosures and credit defaults that precipitated the recent recession.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would update and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially the same work.  It closes loopholes in the EPA that have diluted its effectiveness in combating unfair and unequal pay. While the EPA has helped to narrow the wage gap between men and women in our workforce, significant disparities remain and need to be addressed. 

With 31 co-sponsors in the Senate, the bill is scheduled for a cloture vote on June 5, 2012.  The Paycheck Fairness Act has twice passed the House of Representatives, and it fell just two votes short of a Senate vote on cloture in the 111th Congress. Given the importance of this bill for millions of women and working families, we urge senators to not once again block this bill on procedural grounds. 

The Paycheck Fairness Act would:

  • Ensure that women can obtain the same remedies for sex-based pay discrimination as those available to victims of race-based and national origin discrimination;
  • Eliminate unfair defenses to pay discrimination currently available to employers;
  • Prohibit employer retaliation against employees who disclose or discuss their salaries;
  • Improve wage data collection; and
  • Make clear that individuals may compare themselves to similarly situated employees to determine whether wage discrimination exists, even if those employees do not work in the same physical location.

The Leadership Conference believes that in today’s economic climate, women’s wages are critical components of working families’ struggle to make ends meet. Yet women are often forced to raise their families on incomes lower than male colleagues performing the same jobs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women who work full-time still earn, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar men earn.  African-American women were paid only 62 cents, and Latinas only 54 cents, for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.[1]

We urge you to support economic security for working families by voting in favor of cloture, against any weakening amendments, and for final passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Please contact Lexer Quamie, Counsel at (202) 466-3648, or Nancy Zirkin at (202) 263-2880, if you have any questions.


Wade Henderson
President & CEO

Nancy Zirkin
Executive Vice President

[1] U.S. Census Bureau. (2010). Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement: Table PINC-05: Work Experience in 2010 – People 15 Years Old and Over by Total Money Earnings in 2010, Age, Race, Hispanic Origin, and Sex. Retrieved 16 May 2012, from http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstables/032011/perinc/new05_000.htm.

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