Today is Equal Pay Day!
Wear RED in solidarity,
and CONTACT your United States House of Representatives and your Senators, and tell them to pass the Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act TODAY!
This is very important because
 Unequal Pay AFFECTS families & retirements.
Get ACTIVE for Fair Pay TODAY!
Visit and, for more info.


Equal Pay Day 2009 – Raising Awareness for the Importance of Equal Pay

Today is Equal Pay Day!

Wear Red to Show Your Support!

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally!   

Blog for Fair Pay 2009


Around the Web…, 4/28/09:


Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release          April 28, 2009

– – – – – – –

Harriet Beecher Stowe helped galvanize the abolitionist movement with her groundbreaking literature. Frances Perkins advised President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and led the Department of Labor during one of its most challenging periods in history. Barbara McClintock helped unlock the mysteries of genetics and earned a Nobel Prize. These and countless other women have broken barriers and changed the course of our history, allowing women and men who followed them the opportunity to reach greater heights.

Despite these achievements, 46 years since the passage of the Equal Pay Act and 233 years since our Nation was established with the principle of equal justice under law, women across America continue to experience discrimination in the form of pay inequity every day. Women in the United States earn only 78 cents for every dollar a man earns, and today marks the inauspicious occasion when a woman’s earnings finally catch up with a man’s from the previous year. On National Equal Pay Day, we underscore the importance of this issue to all Americans.

If we wish to honor our Nation’s highest ideals, we must end wage discrimination. The Founders established a timeless framework of rights for the American people. Generation after generation has worked and sacrificed so that this framework might be applied equally to all Americans. To honor these Americans and stay true to our founding ideals, we must carry forward this tradition and breathe life into these principles by supporting equal pay for men and women.

Wage discrimination has a tangible and negative impact on women and families. When women receive less than their deserved compensation, they take home less for themselves and their loved ones. Utilities and groceries are more difficult to afford. Mortgages and rent bills are harder to pay. Children’s higher education is less financially feasible. In later years of life, the retirement that many women have worked so hard for—and have earned—is not possible. This problem is particularly dire for women who are single and the sole supporters of their families. Women should not and need not endure these consequences.

My Administration is working to advance pay equity in the United States. The first bill I signed into law as President, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, allows more women to challenge pay discrimination by extending the timeline within which complaints can be filed. This law advances the struggle

for equal pay, but it is only an initial step. To continue this progress, I issued an Executive Order establishing the White House Council on Women and Girls. This high-level body, composed of Cabinet members and heads of sub-Cabinet agencies, is charged with advancing the rights and needs of women, including equal pay.

Still, Government can only advance this issue so far. The collective action of businesses, community organizations, and individuals is necessary to ensure that every woman receives just treatment and compensation. We Americans must come together to ensure equal pay for both women and men by reminding ourselves of the basic principles that underlie our Nation’s strength and unity, understanding the unnecessary sacrifices that pay inequity causes, and recalling the countless women leaders who have proven what women can achieve.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 28, 2009, as National Equal Pay Day. I call upon American men and women, and all employers, to acknowledge the injustice of wage discrimination and to commit themselves to equal pay for equal work.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.


# # #

From, 5/5/09:


Brendan Daly/Nadeam Elshami
For Immediate Release

Pelosi Statement on Equal Pay Day

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today on Equal Pay Day, which marks how far into the year a woman must work, on average, to earn as much as a man earned the previous year:

“On Equal Pay Day, we recognize the point in the year it takes a woman to make the same amount of money made by a man in the previous year.  As families grapple with an uncertain economy, equal pay for equal work is about daily survival for millions. 

“This Congress has already taken action to strengthen economic security for women.  We passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help ensure gender equity in pay, and I was proud to join President Obama as he signed it into law.   

“The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act also invests in the economic strength of women.  It includes a number of key provisions that are essential for women and children – such as significant tax cuts for working women, major investments in health care, child care and early education, creation of hundreds of thousands of green jobs where women have new opportunities, support for small business owners, and crucial new investments to prevent teacher layoffs and other education cuts in states across the country.  In addition, the Joint Economic Committee held a hearing this morning on the GAO’s newly released report examining the gender pay gap in the federal government. 

“When a woman is not paid fairly, her entire family suffers.  And when a woman is not paid fairly, it does not afford women the respect and equality that they deserve in a country that promises to strive for equal opportunity.  The New Direction Congress will continue to put women and children first.” 

From, 10/8/09:

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine Celebrates Equal Pay Day


WASHINGTON, April 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine issued the following statement in recognition of Equal Pay Day:

"Today we highlight the important struggle of American women to earn equal pay for equal work. Women first entered the work force en masse during World War II and now comprise almost half of all American workers. They are lawyers and retailers and entrepreneurs – and women are projected to account for 49% of the increase in total labor force growth between 2006 and 2016. Despite this remarkable progress, a woman still earns only 78 cents for every dollar a man earns; a disparity that hurts not only women, but all American families.

"As we work to turn the page on the current economic crisis, it’s more important then ever that our economy works for everyone and protections are in place to prevent pay discrimination. That’s why President Obama and the Democratic Congress have made equal pay a top priority. The first bill President Obama signed, just a week after taking office, was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a law that makes it illegal for men and women to be paid differently for the same job.

"While we have come a long way on this important issue, we realize there is still more progress to be made. So today we will celebrate the contributions women have made to the American workforce and pledge our continued support as we work to close the pay gap."

SOURCE Democratic National Committee

From, 4/28/09:

Equal Pay Day Marked by Progress & Need for Further Action to Close Wage Gap

April 28, 2009

U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (Conn. -3) issued the following statement on Equal Pay Day, which falls on the number of additional days into 2009 that women have to work before earning what men earned in 2008. 

In January, President Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, an important step that restores the original intent of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The Act overturned the Supreme Court’s misguided decision in the case of Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber by clarifying that each paycheck resulting from a discriminatory pay decision would constitute a new violation of the law. However, legislation passed by the House at the same time as the Ledbetter bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 12), has not yet been considered by the Senate. This legislation would strengthen the Equal Pay Act – closing loopholes that have allowed employers to avoid responsibility for discriminatory pay.   

“Equal Pay Day this year offers an opportunity to mark the progress we have made in our efforts to close the wage gap between men and women. The first piece of legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama took direct aim at gender discrimination.  By enacting the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, we ensured that Americans would not lose their right to fight pay discrimination.  It is a victory for women and families across the country – especially as families find it more and more difficult to make ends meet in this economy.  

“As we celebrate this achievement, however, we cannot rest on our laurels.  We must renew our commitment to eliminating systemic gender discrimination once and for all.  When the House passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, it also passed the Paycheck Fairness Act again.  We are committed to moving this bill through the Senate.  

“Today, under the Equal Pay Act, employers have succeeded in blaming pay discrimination on market forces and prior salaries, even if those original factors have proven just as discriminatory.  Moreover, remedies under the Equal Pay Act are limited to just twice a plaintiff’s salary. As a result, damages are rarely high enough to act as a deterrent to employers or allow victims to pursue justice. 

“We must begin by giving teeth to current law, close numerous loopholes in the 45-year old law and strengthen penalties for employers who discriminate based on gender. 

“We must also protect employees from retaliation for sharing salary information with their co-workers. And we should create initiatives to provide negotiation skills training programs for girls and women.  Just because gender-based pay discrimination is illegal does not mean it is no longer a significant problem. 

“We must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and send it President Obama for his signature.” 


From, 5/509:



April 28, 2009

Harkin Continues Fights For Pay Equity; Reintroduces Fair Pay Act

Washington, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today introduced the Fair Pay Act of 2009 to address the wage gap for jobs of equal value among men and women. This legislation would address the historic pattern of undervaluing and underpaying so-called "women’s" jobs, by calling for similar wages for similar working conditions regardless of gender.

“In this day in age, there is no such thing as ‘women’s work’ or ‘men’s work,” said Harkin.  “In nearly 10 million American households, the mother is the only breadwinner.  These families have the same struggles to pay the rent or make mortgage payments, buy the groceries, cover the medical bills and save for a child’s education.  In these tough economic times, we need to simply make sure an honest day’s work is rewarded.  We must end wage discrimination and on Equal Pay Day, we can start by closing the pay gap and simply paying women fairly.”

More than 40 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, women’s wages still lag behind their male counterparts’ wages – women make only 78 cents for every dollar that a man makes. The average woman loses an estimated $700,000 over her lifetime due to unequal pay practices.  These wages are more disproportionate for minority women.  The average African-American woman earns 69 cents for every dollar that a white male earns and Latino women receive only 59 cents per dollar earned by white men.

The Fair Pay Act of 2009 would:
• Amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to prohibit discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, race or national origin.
• Require employers to provide equal pay for jobs that are comparable in skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions.
• Apply to each company individually and prohibit companies from reducing other employees’ wages to achieve pay equity. 
• Require public disclosure of employer job categories and their pay scales, without requiring specific information on individual employees.
• Allow payment of different wages under a seniority system, merit system, or system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production.
• Allow employees who allege discrimination in wage-setting based on sex, race or national origin to either file a complaint with the EEOC or go to court.
Right now, women who suspect pay discrimination must file a lawsuit and go into a drawn out legal discovery process to find out whether they make less than the man beside them. With pay statistics readily available, this expensive process could be avoided. The number of lawsuits would surely go down if employees could see up front that they were being treated fairly.

“I once asked Lilly Ledbetter at a hearing if this bill had been law, would it have prevented her wage discrimination case?  Would she have had the information about pay scales and known she was being discriminated against?  She said that it would,” continued Harkin.  “Lily Ledbetter helped us to end pay discrimination, I hope she can now inspire us to close the wage gap.”

The following Senators co-sponsored the Fair Pay Act of 2009: Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), John Kerry (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Jeff Merkely (D-OR).

From, 4/28/09: Go here to see your state wage gap standing.

ln the United States, women are paid only 78¢ on average for every dollar paid to men.

More than 45 years ago, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, making it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work. The following year, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted, making it illegal to discriminate, including in compensation, on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, and national origin. At the time of the Equal Pay Act’s passage in 1963, women were paid merely 59 cents to every dollar earned by men. Although enforcement of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII has helped to narrow the wage gap, significant disparities remain and must be addressed. 

From:, 3/13/09:

We’ve had a major success on pay equity already this year with the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — but the fight for equal pay isn’t over! Women still earn only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men. For women of color, the numbers are even worse! A bill before the Senate, the Paycheck Fairness Act, would help to deter wage discrimination against women. Please urge your Senators to support this bill, and find out more about equal pay for women.
AAUW is calling on supporters to blog and tweet about the importance of equal pay for women on April 28, Equal Pay Day.

From:, 3/18/09:

My dollar looks smaller…

Posted by Susan Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 9:52 AM

From the Marie Claire Business Blog:

Salary Report: Women Are Still Getting Shortchanged

March 14, 2009 5:08 PM
We’re Still Getting Shortchanged

In honor of Equal Pay Day (April 28), a look at how women are stacking up, salarywise:

  • For every dollar a man makes, a woman makes 78 cents. That number has climbed 1 cent since 2006.
  • Fresh-out-of-college women make $15,498 less per year than the boys; over a 35-year career, they’ll make $210,000 less.
  • A 25-year-old female PR specialist makes the same as her male colleagues; 20 years later, she’ll make about $35,000 less.
  • She-EOs make $303,000 less than their male counterparts.
  • Male primary-care physicians make 22 percent more than lady docs.
  • Male IT workers make 11.9 percent more than geekettes.
  • According to the American Association of University Women, at the current rate, we’ll reach pay equity in 2040.
I personally am not surprised. It is sad really. By 2040, we might reach a level of equal pay for equal work. Really?

I was equally disheartened when in researching one of MBA papers, I found out that women with MBAs and other advanced degrees are more likely to not be using them once they have children. Why? Mainly because business has not achieved what my friends in HR term "work/life balance."

I have first hand proof. When I look around the park, while my kiddos are playing, I see this. Two women have masters degrees, there are two doctors and two lawyers. All who have taken time off to raise their children, in part because they want to and can afford to and in part because working 60 hours a week and being a mom is really difficult. Late night client meetings and kids, do not mix. American Business does not make it easy to raise a family. They like to say they do, but for us working moms, we know there are people taking notes and promotions we miss and frankly we know that we are torn in so many directions. Most career moms I know, show up and work hard and do a good job and yet, there is so much pressure to do more and that often comes at the expense of the children.

Moving back to the stats which are startling, there are long term and systemic side effects to the pay inequity. First and foremost it is patently unfair. Equal work, same positions, same job titles, deserve equal pay. It is the 21st century. Business needs to get over itself and just acknowledge that women deserve equal pay.

Furthermore, the disadvantages to unequal pay affect everyone. When women earn less, then they can save less for retirement, both in terms of social security, medicare and their retirement plans. This has long term social effects. Women live longer than men. They need those dollars longer into old age. With a divorce rate hovering around 50%, it is a safe bet that many women will no longer be married, at retirement or into old age, therefore their savings is all they have. There will be no remainder to live on, from a predeceased spouse.

I think it is time for women to be paid the same as their male counterparts. That is just a fact. If we truly want to build a business culture of equality and equal opportunity, that begins with compensation. Otherwise, at a certain point, I think men will start to feel disadvantaged. Think about it – a female CEO makes $303,000 less than a male CEO. When times are tough and all things are equal – who is the company going promote? If it is purely based on cost – think about it, stranger things have happened!


Equal Pay Day: April 28, 2009 by Angie King

17 March 2009

Wear RED on Equal Pay Day to symbolize how far women and minorities are “in the red” with their pay!
Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages. The day, observed on a Tuesday in April, symbolizes how far into the year a woman must work, on average, to earn as much as a man earned the previous year.

It falls on a Tuesday because that is the day on which women’s wages catch up to men’s wages from the previous week. Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay.

That same discrepancy follows women into retirement. Not only do women live an average of three years longer than men, they have earned less in their working lifetimes and have smaller pensions, leaving a greater proportion of women living in poverty. The median income for older women is just $3,000 over the poverty level and just over half the median income of older men.

Despite laws to the contrary, women still earn less at the same job as men. If women were paid comparable wages, it is estimated, the poverty level would drop by a third, and some say by half.

Social Security is the only thing keeping almost 40 percent of older women from poverty. Still, even with that benefit, twelve and a half percent of women 65 and older live in poverty. For older women of color, that rate doubles.

In the meantime, keep in mind that you should be paid at the same rate as men who do the same kind of job and that women should have greater access to the broad spectrum of jobs in order to compete for higher paid positions. It may mean a huge difference in your life later.

Also keep in mind that a system that penalizes women who take time out of work or lower paying jobs to be the child bearers and caregivers of family members both old and young and then pays them less in the bargain, does so on the backs of women. Shouldn’t government be able to give something back in retirement for a woman’s service to society? 

From:, 3/18/09:

Gillibrand Urges Senate on Paycheck Fairness Act

Highlighting an issue that is close to her heart, New York Senator Gillibrand today joined forces with leading voices for women in New York to demand Senate action on the Paycheck Fairness Act.  As a member of the House of Representatives, Senator Gillibrand worked hard to pass this measure, however the Senate has yet to act on the legislation.

“I believe equal pay for women will result in economic growth for everyone,” said Senator Gillibrand. “As we mark Women’s History Month, I am proud to join with women leaders in New York to ensure equality and economic opportunity for women.  I am working with Senate leaders to move forward on vital legislation that will guarantee equal pay for women and teach girls how to acquire better jobs that pays them what they’re worth.”

One of Senator Gillibrand’s first actions in the U.S. Senate was to support passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which allows more time for victims of pay discrimination to file a lawsuit. However, she is continuing her work to address the ongoing pay gap between men and women.

The Paycheck Fairness Act, introduced the past two Congresses by then-Senator Hillary Clinton, would take crucial steps to help empower women to negotiate for equal pay, create strong incentives for employers to obey the laws that are in place, and strengthen federal outreach and enforcement efforts.

“All of us, men and women, young boys and girls, pay a dramatic price when we do not grant equal opportunity to every hardworking woman in our economy,” said Senator Gillibrand.  “The evidence is absolutely crystal clear.  When women earn more, their families succeed.  When mothers earn their fair share, young children have greater access to quality health care, educational opportunities, and safe communities.  By ending the wage gap we will help ensure that every child can achieve his or her God-given potential.

Even though the Equal Pay Act became law 45-years ago, pay discrimination remains in the workplace. A study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research showed that New York ranks 44th in the country for women’s participation in the labor force – this suggests significant barriers to women entering the work force. Women only make 78 cents on the dollar compared to a man.

According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, working women stand to lose $250,000 over the course of their career because of unequal pay practices. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the wage gap continues to persist even though women posted a greater net increase in jobs paying above the median salary than men from 2000 to 2005.  In 2005, the median weekly pay for men was $663 compared to 73 percent of that for women, who earned $486 a week on average

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research and the AFL-CIO found that America’s working families are lose $200 billion annually as a result of the on-going gender wage gap, even when accounting for age, education, and hours worked. That means $4,000 each year for each working woman’s family.  According to the same study, equal pay would drastically cut poverty rates for women and their families – for single mothers, poverty would be cut in half. The poverty rates of married working women would fall by more than 60 percent.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would address wage disparity by preventing, regulating and reducing pay discrimination for women.  The legislation would create a training program to help women strengthen their negotiation skills, enforce equal pay laws for federal contractors and require the Department of Labor to work with employers to eliminate pay disparities by enhancing outreach and training efforts.  In addition, the bill would prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with their co-workers and allow women to sue for punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages now available under the Equal Pay Act.

Senator Gillibrand was joined today by representatives from National Organization for Women, Girls Inc., the Equal Pay Coalition, A Better Balance, AAUW, Catalyst, Center for the Women of New York, CUNY – Howard Samuels Center, Junior League of the City of New York, League of Professional Theatre Women NY, League of Women Voters of the City of New York, Legal Momentum, and Manhattan Chamber of Commerce-Women’s Business Committee.

“As the organization whose mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, Girls Incorporated has been in the forefront of advocating for an equitable society for 145 years,” says Joyce M. Roché, President and CEO of Girls Inc.  “On behalf of the 900,000 girls we reach, we are proud to lend our voice to Senator Gillibrand’s effort to bring the Paycheck Fairness Act to a hearing in front of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee of the Senate.”

“The National Organization for Women-New York State is proud to stand with Senator Gillibrand, linking arms to urge the United States Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act is next in the fight for fair pay. Since women tend to hurt “first and worst” during economic downturns, new legislation strengthening pay equity laws is needed now more than ever.  An unprecedented number of women are now family breadwinners due to rising employment rates–making pay equity critical not simply to family economic security but also to the nation’s economic recovery,” said Marcia A. Pappas, President from the National Organization for Women-NYS

“NYWA’s Equal Pay Coalition NYC is inspired by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s enthusiastic leadership on the Paycheck Fairness Act which will help us advance the agenda toward achieving equal pay for women and minorities,” said Beverly Neufeld, Vice President, New York Women’s Agenda, Coordinator, EPCNYC.  “As we approach the observance of Equal Pay Day in April, we look forward to working together to build the momentum to make fair pay a reality very soon for the women, children and families throughout New York and the United States.”

Text of the letter below:

March 16, 2009

Dear Chairman Kennedy and Ranking Member Enzi,

We write to respectfully request that you bring the Paycheck Fairness Act, S. 182, before the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions for its consideration.  This important piece of legislation, introduced on January 8, 2009 by then Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and now under the lead of Senator Barbara Mikulski, takes important steps towards ensuring that women receive the pay they deserve.

The Paycheck Fairness Act builds on the success of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which first established that it is illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work.  While this landmark law made impressive strides in alleviating pay discrimination, women today make an average of 78 cents for every dollar made by men.  The National Committee on Pay Equity estimates that working women lose $250,000 over the course of their careers because of unequal pay practices.

The Paycheck Fairness Act updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act in a number of important ways; improving the prevention, regulation and reduction of pay discrimination.  The legislation would establish training groups to help women strengthen their negotiation skills, enforce equal pay laws for federal contractors, and require the Department of Labor to work with employers to eliminate wage disparities through better outreach and training.  It would expand the punitive damages allowed under the Equal Pay Act, and prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for sharing salary information with their co-workers.

With the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 signed into law on January 29, 2009, the Paycheck Fairness Act represents the next step in ensuring equality for women in the workplace, once and for all.  We look forward to seeing this bill move out of committee, and to the full Senate for consideration.

From the WAGE Project, 3/19/09:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE           March 19, 2009


Lisa Goodnight                             202/785-7738

Annie Houle                                 207/899-2883 

AAUW, the WAGE Project Join Forces to Address Equal Pay

WASHINGTON – AAUW and The WAGE Project today announced the formation of a partnership to ensure that women graduating from college start their careers knowing how to negotiate for fair and equal pay. This partnership will offer $tart $mart Campus Negotiation Workshops to 500 college campuses over the next three years. These nuts-and-bolts workshops, piloted by WAGE in 2007 and 2008 on more than 60 campuses, will be presented by trained AAUW facilitators. AAUW and WAGE urge all campuses in the nation to offer this valuable workshop, which can serve as a powerful influence in the lives of young women. The gender wage gap begins as early as the first year after a woman graduates from college, according to AAUW’s research report, Behind the Pay Gap. A decade after graduation, it widens. In fact, AAUW found that the gap is clear even when women have the same major and occupation as their male counterparts. Over a 40-year career, college-educated women will have an average lifetime loss of roughly $1 million. In higher-paying fields, such as law, the wage gap can result in even greater lifetime losses – and long-term significantly impact retirement and Social Security income. Nationwide, working families lose $200 billion of income annually to the gender wage gap. And as benefits, raises, and job offers are typically based on current earnings, a fair wage at the beginning of a career can help set the stage for lifetime equity. "$tart $mart Campus Negotiation Workshops combine the vast membership of AAUW with the innovation of WAGE workshops to advance pay equity for working women," said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. "AAUW is well known for fighting to close the wage gap through our efforts on Capitol Hill and our other advocacy work. With these workshops, we will be on the front lines, mentoring young women to become their own best advocates." "Empowering college women with knowledge and tools to counteract the reality of the gender wage gap is the objective of The WAGE Project’s $tart $mart Campus Negotiation Workshops. WAGE is thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with AAUW members to bring $tart $mart workshops to women in colleges, community colleges, and universities throughout the United States. When these women graduate, they will have a better chance to get the paychecks they deserve," said Evelyn Murphy, president of WAGE. The gender pay gap persists because of inadequate knowledge about its devastating impact and causes, inequitable treatment of working women, and women’s lack of knowledge about negotiating for a fair and equal salary. Negotiating salaries is a challenge for women at all stages of their careers, but it is an essential toolalong with stronger anti-discrimination laws and better enforcement of existing policiesto achieving economic security for women and their families.


AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. Since 1881, AAUW has been one of the nation’s leading voices promoting education and equity for women and girls. It has a nationwide network of 100,000 members, 1,300 branches, and 500 college/university institutional partners. Since its founding more than 127 years ago, members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. AAUW’s commitment to educational equity is reflected in its public policy advocacy, community programs, leadership development, conventions and conferences, national partnerships, and international connections. Visit the AAUW website at

The WAGE Project, Inc. is a national nonprofit organization established for one purpose: To end discrimination and the gender wage gap for women in the American workplace. We do this through education and grassroots activism. Please visit us at

Equal Pay Day 2008

EQUAL PAY DAY (4/18) 2008

From, 10/16/08:
Obama, McCain, Nader and Barr on Ledbetter v. Goodyear
by Renata Lana, 10/12/08 10:08AM

Questions about women’s civil rights, especially protection from discrimination in the workplace and the right to equal pay, reappeared in the recent case of Ledbetter v. Goodyear (2007) and in proposed legislation stemming from that decision. 

Let’s review some of these issues and see where the candidates stand. 

Ledbetter v. Goodyear (2007)
Lilly Ledbetter, a manager at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Gadsden, Alabama, sued her employer for discrimination.  By the end of her 19 year career with the company Ledbetter was being paid $3,727 per month.  In contrast, the lowest paid male area manager received $4,286 per month while the highest paid received $5,236.  However, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5/4 decision that despite years of lower pay, Lilly Ledbetter was not eligible for relief because she had not filed the complaint within 180 days of the first occasion of receiving lower pay than her male peers—that is, the first paycheck with lower pay.  In her dissenting opinion,
Judge Ginsburg disagreed with the majority position that “Each and every pay decision she did not immediately challenge wiped the slate clean.”

Obama is a senate cosponsor of s. 1843, the Fair Pay Restoration Act of 2007, which was designed to address the ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, making it possible for women to file within a broader period of time.  Lilly Ledbetter has endorsed Senator Obama.

Did not support the Fair Pay Restoration Act of 2007.  McCain has objected to the legislation, saying that it involved “government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system” and that women are better served by increased access to education and training.  He is also concerned that the legislation would eliminate the statute of limitations and violate the rights of the sued. 

Ralph Nader:
Supports the agenda of the National Organization of Women, including “equality in jobs, pay, credit, insurance, pensions, fringe benefits, and Social Security through legislation, negotiation, labor organizing, education, and litigation” as well as an Equal Rights Amendment.

Bob Barr:
Does not support the house or senate versions of the Fair Pay Act.   Believes that “the free market has proved to be a powerful force of liberation for women” and that government should stay out of employment decisions.

Something to think about:Women in Top Ranks Pull Up the Pay of Others
Study Says Existing Salary Gap Fades When Female Managers Are in Charge

By Shankar Vedantam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 13, 2006; A08

MONTREAL — American women earn substantially more money and narrow
the long-standing gender gap in income if other women in their
workplaces reach the ranks of senior management, according to a new
national study presented here.

By contrast, the study found, increasing the number of women managers
in junior positions makes no difference to the gender gap — women on
average continue to earn about 20 percent less than men.

Surprisingly, men who work for women managers seem to do slightly
worse in income than men who work for men, irrespective of whether the
women managers are in senior positions.

The study answers for the first time what happens to workers when
women break through the glass ceiling, and is based on 1.3 million
American workers in nearly 30,000 jobs and 79 metropolitan areas.

“The glass ceiling is about all women, not just women who become
managers,” said Philip N. Cohen, a sociologist at the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill who announced the study here Friday at
the 101st meeting of the American Sociological Association. “If women
break through the glass ceiling, it helps other women.”

The study comes at a time when there has been renewed discussion of
gender roles in America. From talk of a 2008 presidential race between
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice to the movie “The Devil Wears Prada,” there are often
unstated political, cultural and economic implications attached to the
idea of women acquiring power.

Cohen said the study of gender and income disparities is more
complicated than it looks. For example, while it is true that
employees who work for women seem to be penalized, compared with those
who work for men, that is largely because women tend to become
managers in professions that have a lot of women to begin with — and
those professions usually pay less than professions with a lot of men.

Men work in jobs that are 70 percent male on average; women work in
jobs that are 70 percent female on average. Jobs with similar
educational requirements can pay very differently: Truck drivers earn
far more than nurse’s aides, for example, and corporate lawyers earn
more than family lawyers, Cohen said.

“Nothing stops you from paying a nurse’s aide less than a truck
driver,” Cohen said. “That is not against any law.”

Even within the same industry, or within a single company, women tend
to be distributed unequally in high- and low-profile divisions, said
Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, a sociologist at the City University of New
York and the president of the sociology association. One reason men
are more likely to reach upper management, Fuchs added, is that the
express elevators to the top — high-profile jobs — tend to be filled
with men, whereas the elevators that stop at more floors along the way
tend to be filled with women.

There is a stereotype in the United States that women who become
bosses are ruthless and that they treat female subordinates worse than
they treat men. Advocates for diversity, by contrast, have long argued
that opening the management door to women is not only the right thing
to do but will lead to more equitable workplaces in general. Cohen’s
study is the first empirical evidence that these advocates are right
— but only when women get to very senior positions.

Cohen and University of California at Irvine sociologist Matt L.
Huffman found that women earn about 81 percent of what men make, and
that figure remains unchanged when the number of junior-level women
managers rises from 2 percent to more than 50 percent. But when women
become senior managers, female workers earn 91 percent of men’s

The sociologists used data from the 2000 census that asked Americans
about their professional lives, including the industry they work in
and their incomes. The sociologists then compared the information
against what was known about the ratio of male and female managers in
particular industries, and how senior the female managers were in each
of those local industries. They accounted for dozens of other
variables, including race, geographic location, size of workers’
families, education and experience.

For example, the sociologists found 1,887 restaurant managers in the
Los Angeles area and 10,422 restaurant workers. There were far more
female restaurant managers in Los Angeles than in New York, but the
Los Angeles female managers were more likely to be low-level.
Consistent with the study’s findings, women restaurant workers in New
York earned 95 percent of the pay of their male counterparts, while
workers in Los Angeles earned 92 percent of what men made.

Cohen and Huffman said there are multiple possible explanations of why
men seem to earn less money with female managers than with men. One
possibility is that the gender gap in income is not just because women
are underpaid, but because men are overpaid, and the slight decline in
men’s wages is bringing their salaries into line with actual
productivity. But it is also possible that to get gender equity, the
extra money for women has to come from somewhere, and it partly comes
from higher-paid men.

The income study was part of an array of gender issues discussed at
the sociologists’ meeting. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
who spoke at the meeting Friday, noted that she is now the only woman
on the high court and called for redressing enduring disparities in
the judiciary. Since Sandra Day O’Connor’s retirement, Ginsburg said,
“I have been all alone in my corner on the bench.”


***From PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics: (This looks like a great company)***

Women are paid less for doing the same work as men in every country on earth.5 In the U.S., women earn only $.74 on the dollar paid to men, African American women earn $.63 and Hispanic women $.56.6 Only 3% of senior managers at Fortune 1000 corporations are NOT white males.7 (The novelty of twenty-something, snow-boarding CEOs gave the “dot com gold rush” a reputation for having shaken up the make-up of corporate power, but the gender-power breakdown remained the same): in Silicon Valley, the ratio of female to male stock option ownership is 1 to 100.8 After the career years, women are only half as likely as men to receive a pension, which will be half the amount awarded to men.9 This could explain why 75% of 85-year-old Social Security recipients are female and why women are almost twice as likely as men to spend their later years in poverty.10

“Unmarried Women and Income Disparity”

From, 4/22/08:

In 2006, an unmarried man earned 64 cents to a married man’s dollar. 

A Great Video about the Equal PayAct 1963:




Fair Pay is On the Way!

President Obama, thank you for signing into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act 2009! We’re On the Way for Equal Pay!    


Whitehouse: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act 2009. Remarks from President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The United States Senate passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009!


Contact your U.S. Senators and encourage them to support and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, the companian bill to the Lilly Ledbetter Act.

From, 1/24/09:

Goodyear Tire Gets Away with Pay Discrimination,
But Lilly Ledbetter Wins the Day

January 22, 2009

Tonight the Senate passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by a bipartisan vote of 61 to 36, vindicating Lilly Ledbetter’s long search for redress after 19 years of pay discrimination.

"This is an important first step in our efforts to undo years of backsliding on the right to be paid a fair and equitable wage," said National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy. "The Ledbetter bill will allow redress for workers with the energy and willpower to seek redress in the courts, but we have a long way to go before we have fair pay for women, and laws with real teeth."

While it is too late for her to receive the compensation she deserved from Goodyear and was denied by the Supreme Court, Lilly’s determined quest for equal rights for women in the workplace led to today’s Senate passage of the legislation introduced in her name. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation next week after an expected concurrence from the House.

The Ledbetter Act, which was blocked in the Republican-led Senate last year, will essentially reverse the 2007 Supreme Court decision that required workers to file charges on a pay discrimination claim within six months after receiving their first discriminatory paycheck. The Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber, which reversed the jury’s compensation award to Ledbetter, essentially gave employers the go-ahead to discriminate in pay, as long as they weren’t caught in the first six months after the onset of their illegal actions.

Earlier this month the House passed the Ledbetter Act with a companion bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would close loopholes that allow employers to pay men and women discriminatorily and provides consequences for that discrimination. The Senate today acted only on the Ledbetter Act, so work on passage of the companion bill begins tomorrow.

But tonight NOW salutes Lilly Ledbetter and promises to continue working for passage of fair pay legislation with real teeth, so that her long journey through the courts and the halls of Congress will not have been in vain, and all workers will be able enjoy a fair, safe and equitable workplace where they can do their jobs and support their families.


For Immediate Release
Contact: Mai Shiozaki, 202-628-8669, ext. 116; cell 202-641-1906

Copyright 1995-2008, All rights reserved. Permission granted for non-commercial use. National Organization for Women

Excerpts from, 1/6/09:

Background about this issue: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act are important steps to making sure that women are paid what they are worth. These pieces of legislation would make it easier for women to recover lost wages from bosses who discriminate and by requiring the federal government to be more proactive in preventing and battling wage discrimination.  

The Paycheck Fairness Act would improve protections for workers under the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by allowing individuals to better fight pay discrimination, strengthening penalties for violation, compelling employers to explain wage gaps, and developing training for women and girls about salary negotiation.

These bills will provide women the tools they need to gain equal pay for equal work. Especially during these tough economic times, women need equal pay for equal work to ensure self-sufficiency and dignity.

A recent study found that pay discrimination costs the average women $434,000 over a forty year period of time.1 

Now, more than ever, women and families need the economic security brought by Fair Pay for equal work.  

P.S. If you haven’t seen the video of Batgirl fighting for fair pay yet, be sure to check it out at:

P.P.S.  Innovative win-win solutions to work and family issues are more accessible than most of us realize. This weekend the New York Times highlighted one such innovative opportunity: babies at work!    

1.      Lifetime Losses: The Career Wage Gap,

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Historic Pay Equity Bill

From, 8/11/08:

Victory! House Passes Historic Pay Equity Bill

August 1, 2008

By Jan Erickson, Director of Programs, NOW Foundation

The most important piece of pay equity legislation to be considered in decades, the Paycheck Fairness Act, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday evening. Fourteen Republicans joined Democrats to pass the historic measure with a final vote of 247 to 178.

NOW President Kim Gandy hailed the passage, pointing out that the bill, if passed by the Senate and signed into law, could help us make real progress toward reducing the 23 percent differential in pay between women and men.

Gandy said, "Sex-based pay discrimination means much more than 23 cents on the dollar — it can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars over a woman’s lifetime that are lost to her and her family. These lost wages can mean the family is unable to afford college tuition or health insurance, and the lowered pensions and social security payments associated with lower income can lead to poverty for elderly women who were not able to save and invest for retirement."

H.R. 1338 is sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and 231 co-sponsors. In the Senate, an identical bill, S. 766, is sponsored by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and 22 co-sponsors and is pending in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Senate bill could be taken up after the August congressional recess.

The legislation would amend the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to strengthen penalties for equal pay violations, enhance data collection from employers so that patterns of sex discrimination in pay can be identified, and more directly place the responsibility on employers defending wage differences to show that the differences are due to factors other than sex. A particularly important provision establishes the right of wage discrimination plaintiffs under the Equal Pay Act to receive compensatory and punitive damages, a remedy that is available in most other anti-discrimination statutes.

Other provisions of this historic bill apply more broadly by clarifying language in the Equal Pay Act to allow for reasonable comparisons between employees to determine fair wages and would prohibit retaliation against employees who inquire about their employer’s wage practices or share information about their own wages. Further, it eases requirements on discrimination victims to proceed in a class action lawsuit under the Equal Pay Act.

The bill requires the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to train employees and affected entities on matters involving wages, and encourages the Department of Labor to make grants for negotiation skills training programs for girls and women — sort of a "self defense" regimen for workers who cannot expect wage fairness from their employers.

In the face of the current administration’s efforts to drop all data collection about women workers, the bill requires the EEOC to collect certain pay information and directs the Commissioner of Labor Statistics to collect data on women workers in the Current Employment Statistics survey.

In floor remarks, Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) stressed that women of color suffer additional pay discrimination, with Latinas being paid on average 57 cents and African-American women being paid 68 cents compared to the dollar paid to men.

Several amendments to the Paycheck Fairness Act were adopted, including one to delay the effective date of the bill by six months to allow for the Department of Labor to educate small businesses about what is required under the law. Also adopted was an amendment to change the standard for punitive damage awards from "intentional" discrimination to "malice or reckless indifference."

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. DeLauro, who has advocated for this legislation for a decade, was ardent in her floor remarks for the Act, saying that it will lead to better recognition of the "value or the work that women do in this society". She noted recent studies that show highly educated women are still earning less than comparable male colleagues across a range of occupations.

DeLauro recalled the unfair treatment of Lily Ledbetter whose pay discrimination claim was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court. Legislation to address inequities in the law that affected Ms. Ledbetter has passed the House but is languishing in the Senate.

Copyright 1995-2008, All rights reserved. Permission granted for non-commercial use. National Organization for Women
(This was printed from

Equal Pay For Women? Not Until 2050.

Women can change this predictament. Read the book Getting Even by Evelyn Murphy! We can get out of the -red and into the +$green$!

Equal pay for women? Not till 2050

By Kate Lorenz

Editor’s Note: has a business partnership with, which serves as the exclusive provider of job listings and services to

A woman’s work is never done. Though you might not know it to look at her paycheck.

Did you know that, according to the AFL-CIO, the average 25-year-old woman who works full-time, year-round until she retires at age 65 (if that’s when she’s able to retire) will earn $523,000 less than the average working man?

At the current rate of change, working women will not achieve equal pay until after the year 2050. That’s almost 100 years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, prohibiting discrimination based on sex resulting in unequal pay for equal work.

On average, women make 78 percent of men’s wages, according to a 2003 study by the U.S. Department of Labor. This is, however, a marked improvement over 25 years ago — in 1979, women made 62 percent of what men earned.

It varies by race

The pay gap differs by race, with the earnings of white women being just 78 percent of those of white men; black women making 91 percent as much as their male counterparts; and Hispanic women earning 88 percent of what Hispanic men earn. The Rutgers School of Management Relations says this is primarily because white men still earn the most among all groups of workers.

It’s wider among professionals

Even though women earn less than do men at all education levels, women are gaining ground. Earnings for women with a college degree have risen by one-third since 1979, versus only 19 percent for men.

Interestingly, the wage gap is largest among the most highly educated groups.A researcher exploring the pay and promotion gap among statisticians attributed this to women not wanting to put themselves forward as candidates for competition. She found that while most women did not apply for higher jobs because they believed they needed more time and preparation, ironically, those who did apply actually had more success than their male counterparts.

While causes of the gender pay gap are complex and include work/family choices, data on women’s dramatically lower recognition in domains where their talents and achievements are equal to men’s imply there is a tendency to undervalue a woman’s work and contributions.

Occupation matters

The pay gap appears in all occupations, including those with severe shortages where salaries should be the most competitive to attract top candidates. Consider physicians, with numbers declining due to high insurance costs and the number of years in training. Females doctors only earn 58 percent of their male counterparts’ salaries. Even in predominantly female fields like nursing and teaching, women still earn less than men: female nurses earn 91 percent and female teachers earn 87 percent of what their male counterparts do.

Jobs with the smallest gender pay gaps include legal assistants, where women earn 90 percent of what men do, as well as male-dominated occupations like engineering, where women earn 92 percent as much as men, and police and detective work, where women earn almost 80 percent as much as men do.

According to Labor Department figures, women who choose nontraditional careers such as dentists (just 20 percent are women) or airline pilots or navigators (less than 4 percent are female), can expect to have lifetime earnings that are 150 percent higher than those of women who choose traditional careers.

Pay vs. satisfaction

Despite the pay gap, according to several studies, women are actually more satisfied at work!’s recent "Pulse of the Worker" survey found that despite receiving lower raises, fewer bonuses and having lower expectations for being promoted, women were more likely than men to report that, overall, they are happy with their jobs.

Who said a woman is never satisfied?




Find this article at:

Positive Gains for Equal Pay for Women!

Wimbledon to pay equal prize money

POSTED: 11:11 a.m. EST, February 22, 2007, 

LONDON, England — Men and women will receive equal prize money at Wimbledon this year for the first time in the history of the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world.

The All England Club, which runs Wimbledon, announced on Thursday that it would fall into line with the U.S. Open and Australian Open in paying equal prize money across all events.

The French Open paid the men’s and women’s champions the same for the first time last year, although the overall prize fund remained bigger for the men.

"In summary, we take the view that this is good for tennis, good for the women players and good for Wimbledon," said All England Club chairman Tim Phillips.

The move follows a long-standing campaign for equality, with former Wimbledon champion John McEnroe one of a number of prominent players who called for the change.

Last year, men’s champion Roger Federer received £655,000 ($1.170 million) and women’s winner Amelie Mauresmo pocketed £625,000 ($1.117 million)

"It’s definitely a victory for women in general. I said it was a matter of time, and it was," Mauresmo said in Dubai.

"I think most of the people agreed it’s not a matter of how long we (women) spend on the court. The men are always going to play longer because they play best of five sets. It’s just a matter of being equal."

Finally relented

Wimbledon had long argued that the men deserved an extra increment because they played five-set matches against three-setters for the women, but has finally relented.

"When Wimbledon pioneered Open tennis in 1968, the ladies singles champion Billie Jean King got £750 and Rod Laver got £2,000," Phillips said.

"So the ladies champion got 37.5 percent of the money that the men’s champion got. By stages that has moved up until in 2006 when Mauresmo won, the precise relativity was 95.4 percent. So the champion was only getting 4.6 percent less.

"We believe… it was time to bring this progression to a close and equalize fully.

"Obviously it is good news for the women players… and we also believe it will serve as positive encouragement for women in sport in general but in tennis in particular."

The move won immediate approval from top women’s players of present and past.

"The greatest tennis tournament in the world has reached an even greater height today," three-time champion Venus Williams said.

"I applaud today’s decision by Wimbledon, which recognizes the value of women’s tennis. The 2007 Championships will have even greater meaning and significance to me and my fellow players."

Former six-time singles champion Billie Jean King, a pioneer for women’s sports agreed.

"This news has been a long time coming," she said. "Wimbledon is one of the most respected events in all of sports and now with women and men paid on an equal scale, it demonstrates to the rest of the world that this is the right thing to do for the sport, the tournament and the world."




Equal Pay Day 2007

Equal Pay Day– April 24, 2007
Women Lose Millions Due to Wage Gap, NOW Calls for Passage of Pay Equity Legislation
April 24, 2007

Today the National Organization for Women and our allies are calling attention to the persistent wage gap between women and men by observing Equal Pay Day. This year we pause on April 24—symbolizing the day that women workers finally “get out of the red” and their 2006-2007 earnings finally equal men’s earnings from last year alone.

Why do women have to work an extra 114 days to keep pace with men? Because full-time women workers are paid an average of 77 cents for every dollar men are paid. Women of color are short-changed even more, with African-American women paid only 71 cents and Latinas just 58 cents on men’s dollar.

On a yearly basis, the wage gap is alarming. But when you at look at it over the long haul, it is downright criminal,” said NOW President Kim Gandy. “The average woman is losing, at minimum, hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages during her lifetime, and it starts earlier than you think.”

According to a new study from the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, the wage gap affects college graduates too. The disparities kick in shortly after college graduation, when women and men would seem to be on a level playing field. The report, Behind the Pay Gap, reveals that one year after graduating college, women are earning only 80 percent of their male counterparts’ wages. Over the next 10 years, women’s wages fall further behind, dropping to only 69 percent of men’s earnings.

The AAUW report states that “even after controlling for hours, occupation, parenthood, and other factors known to affect earnings, the research indicates that one-quarter of the pay gap remains unexplained and is likely due to sex discrimination.” The WAGE Project estimates that over 35 years of work, a female high school graduate will make $700,000 less than a male high school grad, and a woman with a college degree will lose $1.2 million compared to a degreed man. The higher the degree, the greater the loss.

“The wage gap affects every woman, from the day she enters the workforce straight through to her retirement,” said Gandy. “Day-to-day, women struggle to make ends meet and provide for their families. It hurts their ability to save for a home, for medical emergencies or for retirement. Beyond the dollars and cents, we simply can’t quantify the opportunities and potential unrealized due to this injustice.”

That’s why NOW is supporting the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 766 and H.R. 1338) introduced last month by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), which aims to reduce the pay gap by enhancing enforcement of the Equal Pay Act, training enforcement officials, and permitting employees to share salary information with co-workers without punishment.

NOW also supports the Fair Pay Act, sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), which would prohibit discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, race or national origin, and would require equal pay for jobs that are comparable in skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions.

“We need this legislation now more than ever,” said Gandy. “The Bush administration is intent on dismantling the Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau. They would like to stop collecting data on women workers altogether, rather than following the law and paying women what they’re worth.”


For Immediate Release
Contact: Mai Shiozaki, 202-628-8669, ext. 116; cell 202-641-1906

From 04/24/07

The Supreme Court just delivered a huge blow to the fight for equal pay for equal work.  It told Lilly Ledbetter, a 60-year old “fiery mother of two,” that even though, for years, she was paid between 15% and 40% less than her male counterparts on the management team (a fact she learned late in her 19 year career), she could not make a claim of workplace discrimination.  Why couldn’t she make a claim?  Lily Ledbetter learned about the pay discrepancies too late. The court ruled that claims must be made within 180 days after the pay is set.   But how many of us know what our co-workers make? In fact, it’s illegal to ask in many states.

Justice Ruth Ginsburg wrote the dissenting opinion for the 5-to-4 decision, and in it she asked Congress to overturn the ruling and clarify the intent of the law.  Several Congressional leaders are already stepping forward to counter this outrage by drafting new fair-minded legislation.  Let’s get behind them so they can pass this legislation immediately.  

CITIZEN VOICES ARE CRUCIAL: Citizen voices are going to be crucial to giving leaders the “political capital” they require to fix this problem.  Here’s what several of the key leaders who are fighting for us have to say about the ruling:

“Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision reflects a poor understanding of the real problems with long-term pay discrimination,” said Senator Harkin. “Most new employees feel less comfortable challenging their salaries, and it is very difficult to determine when pay discrimination begins.  Furthermore, a small pay gap tends to widen over time, only becoming noticeable when there is systemic discrimination over a period of years. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to ensure every worker receives the paycheck he or she deserves.”
“Unless Congress Acts, this Supreme Court ruling will have far-reaching implications for women, and will gravely limit the rights of employees who have suffered pay discrimination based on their race, sex, religion or national origin. All Americans deserve equal pay for equal work and it is our responsibility to get this right,” said Senator Clinton.
“This week’s Supreme Court decision sends a dangerous message about the value of pay equity in this country.  It is unacceptable that women and others would be limited in their opportunities to stand up for themselves and for their families.  I am proud to team up with my colleagues to right this wrong,” said Senator Mikulski.
“As Justice Ginsburg suggests, the ball has now fallen into Congress’ court and we intend to address this ruling,” said Representative George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee.  “The Supreme Court’s narrow decision makes it more difficult for workers to stand up for their basic civil rights at work and that is unacceptable.”

Best – The MomsRising Team

p.p.s.  Want to read more about it?  Here are some good articles:

– Washington Post:

– CNN Money:

– New York Times:

Supreme Court Moves Backward on Equal Pay

By Liz Gilchrist

May 30, 2007

The Roberts court strikes again. Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision in the case of Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. dealt a near-fatal blow to our ability to use Title VII of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 to remedy pay discrimination based on sex, race, national origin, and other protected grounds.

In a 5-4 decision that turns our understanding of employment discrimination on its head, the Court ruled that a Title VII complaint must be filed within 180 days of the specific action that sets discriminatory pay, regardless of its ongoing and continuing discriminatory impact on the employee. As a result, many victims of pay discrimination will be left without an effective remedy, even though their rights have been violated.

Justice Samuel Alito’s decision was joined predictably by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy. Their majority opinion ignores the realities of the workplace where disparities in pay are often undiscovered or difficult to determine, especially since so many employers keep salary and pay information confidential.

Pay discrimination is often incremental and subtle, as was the case with Lilly Ledbetter, who did receive raises over the course of her 19-year career with Goodyear, but each raise was substantially lower than that of her male counterparts. The cumulative effects of her disparate treatment grew until she was being paid 15%-25% less than her male colleagues, even those with far less experience.

Justice Alito’s cramped and narrow interpretation of Title VII is directly contrary to the law’s broad remedial purpose of protecting working women and men from discrimination in employment. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pointed out in her forceful and eloquent dissenting opinion, “the Court … is totally at odds with the robust protection against workplace discrimination Congress intended Title VII to secure.”

Worse yet, despite his repeated avowal of respect for Supreme Court precedent during his confirmation hearings in the Senate just last year, Justice Alito so narrowly restricted the scope of existing pay discrimination precedent in this case as to render it useless for most litigants. Ledbetter‘s majority opinion effectively overturns 20 years of federal court cases and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rulings which had consistently ruled that a prohibited act of discrimination occurs each time a woman receives a paycheck that is less than a similarly situated man.

Although it has been rarely commented on, the jury that heard all the facts had awarded Ledbetter three million dollars in damages, but the trial judge cut that amount to only $360,000 because of a limitation that was inserted in the Civil Rights Act of 1991, during the first Bush administration, which put a cap on damages for sex discrimination, regardless of the facts.

Every senator who did not act to prevent Justice Alito’s confirmation to the Supreme Court bears some responsibility for this reprehensible roll-back of our ability to get fair treatment in the workplace and in the courts. Replacing Justice Sandra Day O’Connor with Samuel Alito shifted the balance on the court, and women will be paying the price for a long time.

Justices’ Ruling Limits Suits on Pay Disparity – New York Times‎- May 30, 2007

The decision came in a case involving a supervisor at a Goodyear Tire plant in Gadsden, Ala., the only woman among 16 men at the same management level, who was paid less than any of her colleagues, including those with less seniority. She learned that fact late in a career of nearly 20 years — too late, according to the Supreme Court’s majority.

The court held on Tuesday that employees may not bring suit under the principal federal anti-discrimination law unless they have filed a formal complaint with a federal agency within 180 days after their pay was set. The timeline applies, according to the decision, even if the effects of the initial discriminatory act were not immediately apparent to the worker and even if they continue to the present day.

From 2001 to 2006, workers brought nearly 40,000 pay discrimination cases. Many such cases are likely to be barred by the court’s interpretation of the requirement in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that employees make their charge within 180 days “after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred.”

Workplace experts said the ruling would have broad ramifications and would narrow the legal options of many employees.

In an opinion by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., the majority rejected the view of the federal agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, that each paycheck that reflects the initial discrimination is itself a discriminatory act that resets the clock on the 180-day period, under a rule known as “paycheck accrual.”

“Current effects alone cannot breathe life into prior, uncharged discrimination,” Justice Alito said in an opinion joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas once headed the employment commission, the chief enforcer of workers’ rights under the statute at issue in this case, usually referred to simply as Title VII.

Under its longstanding interpretation of the statute, the commission actively supported the plaintiff, Lilly M. Ledbetter, in the lower courts. But after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case last June, the Bush administration disavowed the agency’s position and filed a brief on the side of the employer.

In a vigorous dissenting opinion that she read from the bench, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the majority opinion “overlooks common characteristics of pay discrimination.” She said that given the secrecy in most workplaces about salaries, many employees would have no idea within 180 days that they had received a lower raise than others.

An initial disparity, even if known to the employee, might be small, Justice Ginsburg said, leading an employee, particularly a woman or a member of a minority group “trying to succeed in a nontraditional environment” to avoid “making waves.” Justice Ginsburg noted that even a small differential “will expand exponentially over an employee’s working life if raises are set as a percentage of prior pay.”

Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter and Stephen G. Breyer joined the dissent.

Ms. Ledbetter’s salary was initially the same as that of her male colleagues. But over time, as she received smaller raises, a substantial disparity grew. By the time she brought suit in 1998, her salary fell short by as much as 40 percent; she was making $3,727 a month, while the lowest-paid man was making $4,286.

A jury in Federal District Court in Birmingham, Ala., awarded her more than $3 million in back pay and compensatory and punitive damages, which the trial judge reduced to $360,000. But the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, erased the verdict entirely, ruling that because Ms. Ledbetter could not show that she was the victim of intentional discrimination during the 180 days before she filed her complaint, she had not suffered an “unlawful employment practice” to which Title VII applied.

Several other federal appeals courts had accepted the employment commission’s more relaxed view of the 180-day requirement. The justices accepted Ms. Ledbetter’s appeal, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, No. 05-1074, to resolve the conflict.

Title VII’s prohibition of workplace discrimination applies not just to pay but also to specific actions like refusal to hire or promote, denial of a desired transfer and dismissal. Justice Ginsburg argued in her dissenting opinion that while these “singular discrete acts” are readily apparent to an employee who can then make a timely complaint, pay discrimination often presents a more ambiguous picture. She said the court should treat a pay claim as it treated a claim for a “hostile work environment” in a 2002 decision, permitting a charge to be filed “based on the cumulative effect of individual acts.”

In response, Justice Alito dismissed this as a “policy argument” with “no support in the statute.”

As with an abortion ruling last month, this decision showed the impact of Justice Alito’s presence on the court. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, whom he succeeded, would almost certainly have voted the other way, bringing the opposite outcome.

The impact of the decision on women may be somewhat limited by the availability of another federal law against sex discrimination in the workplace, the Equal Pay Act, which does not contain the 180-day requirement. Ms. Ledbetter initially included an Equal Pay Act complaint, but did not pursue it. That law has additional procedural hurdles and a low damage cap that excludes punitive damages. It does not cover discrimination on the basis of race or Title VII’s other protected categories.

In her opinion, Justice Ginsburg invited Congress to overturn the decision, as it did 15 years ago with a series of Supreme Court rulings on civil rights. “Once again, the ball is in Congress’s court,” she said. Within hours, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, who is seeking the Democratic nomination, announced her intention to submit such a bill.

Pay ruling ignores the real world
Most employees would have trouble telling – let alone proving – they’re not being fairly compensated. So why did the Supreme Court decide to give them only six months to file a pay discrimination complaint?
By Anne Fisher, Fortune senior writer
May 31 2007: 3:03 PM EDT

(Fortune) — How long have you been in your current job? Six months? Less than six months? How about six years, or 16? It hardly matters: In any case, you probably have only the foggiest notion (if any) of what your colleagues earn, or how big their last raise was.

If you’re a woman, it’s unlikely you know for sure whether your pay is commensurate with male peers in the same job. Employers encourage a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to the subject that usually prevents people from guessing – let alone being able to prove with hard evidence – if they’re being fairly compensated. And new employees in particular are often so relieved to have been hired that they’re the last ones who are going to ask awkward questions.

So how much sense does it make to decide, as the U.S. Supreme Court did Tuesday in a 5-4 ruling, that employees who want to take legal action against a discriminatory employer must file a formal complaint with a federal agency within 180 days of that employer’s explicit offense (i.e. either hiring a woman for less pay than a man or giving her a smaller raise because she’s female)? In too many instances, it takes far longer than that for an employee to realize what’s going on.

That was what happened to Lilly Ledbetter, on whose case the highest U.S. court ruled yesterday. Ledbetter was a supervisor at a Goodyear Tire plant in Gadsden, Ala., and the only woman among 17 managers at the same level. Although she was hired at the same pay as her peers, she received smaller raises than theirs over a 20-year period. By the time she realized it, in 1998, her salary fell short of male supervisors’ by 40%. She was earning $3,727 a month, while the lowest-paid man in her position made $4,286.

Under the Supreme Court’s new ruling, systematically paying someone less on the basis of sex would be perfectly fine under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – as long as she doesn’t figure it out within six months. After that, she can’t sue on that basis. (Although she might be able to file under the Equal Pay Act, which doesn’t have the 180-day deadline, that law has other requirements and doesn’t allow punitive damages.) This is just dandy for employers who make a habit of paying women less than men in the same job, but it’s an interpretation that surely undermines the spirit of Title VII if not its letter.

Worse, it ignores workplace reality. The majority opinion “overlooks common characteristics of pay discrimination,” Ruth Bader Ginsburg – the court’s only woman – wrote in her dissent, which she read from the bench. A single pay raise that is smaller than colleagues get, even if a woman knows it’s smaller, may not seem worth “making waves” over, particularly if the woman – or, for that matter, member of a racial minority – is “trying to succeed in a nontraditional environment.”

But, Justice Ginsburg noted, over the course of a whole career, even a small disparity in pay “will expand exponentially…if raises are set as a percent of prior pay.” That robs women, or anyone else who is systematically and deliberately paid less for the same work, not just of many thousands of dollars in direct earnings, but of benefits like pensions that are linked to pay as well.

In her opinion, Ginsburg called on Congress to step up and overturn the Supreme Court’s decision, as it did in the early ’90s with a series of the court’s rulings on civil rights. Hillary Clinton, perhaps hoping to win women voters’ support, has said she’ll lead the fight. Here’s hoping that’s more than just a campaign promise.

What do you think of the Supreme Court ruling? Post your thoughts on the Ask Annie blog. Top of page

Realities of a Gender Pay Gap
Despite Improvements, Women Still Lag Behind Men in Earning Capacity


April 28, 2007 —

Evelyn Murphy travels the country teaching women how to get paid as much as men.

The former lieutenant governor of Massachusetts said when she started working 40 years ago, women earned 59 cents on the dollar and they were told they lacked the education and experience men brought to the job.

“All that meritocracy stuff, that’s gone,” she now counsels young women. “If this were about merit, there shouldn’t be any wage gap.”

Murphy repeats this mantra again and again as president of the WAGE (Women Are Getting Even) Project, a national organization that aims to end wage discrimination against working women. The club holds meetings in roughly 200 locations around the country and the women who come to hear Murphy speak are both shocked and motivated by her message.

“I definitely was surprised,” said Rinn Self, a 28-year-old student of conflict resolution. “Growing up with a woman studies major mom, I definitely had assumed things were getting better&so it was shocking to hear that things have stayed the same for the past, like, 20 years.”

Progress toward pay parity has been painfully slow despite women’s enormous gains.

Last year women earned 58 percent of the nation’s college degrees. And they graduate from law, business and medical school in almost equal number to men.

“I’m very frustrated at where things stand,” Murphy said.

Women also clearly pay a price for interrupting their careers — even briefly — to have children.

One economist recently calculated the cost of the “Motherhood Penalty” at 7 percent per child.

But the wage gap between men and women starts long before a woman has children. Surprisingly, it often starts right out of college with the very first job.

“Even from the first day of work there’s inequity,” said Linda Babcock, an economics professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

A new study by the American Association of University Women blames much of this inequity on discrimination. But Babcock, author of a book called “Women Don’t Ask,” said her research shows a prime reason women out of college earn just 95 cents for every dollar earned by a man is that they are far less likely to negotiate their pay.

“Very simply, women don’t negotiate as much as men,” Babcock said.

Take the case of two graduating seniors at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Both are finance majors with good grades and job offers in management consulting. But the man negotiated while the woman did not.

“I wanted a little bit more so I went out and got it,” said Sandip Gupta. Imee Chan simply accepted what she was offered.

“I just thought this was what they’re going to give me,” she said. “I wish I’d asked, I really do now.”

Babcock said women are socialized from an early age to accept what they get. “We really teach our girls to be very passive and we teach our boys to go out there and be aggressive,” she said.

Whatever the reasons, the pay gap exacts a heavy price on women over the course of a lifetime. According to the WAGE Project, a college-educated working woman will earn $1.2 million less over the course of her career than a college-educated working man.

Murphy tells young women that she wants that fact to “haunt” them. “Because then you’re going to do something about it,” she said.

For now, this graduating class of women will leave the starting gate — already behind.

Copyright © 2007 ABC News Internet Ventures

Search the following websites for more information.  Be prepared and informed. 

1.  National Committee on Pay Equity
2.  Business and Professional Women USA
     Search for “pay equity”
3.  American Association of University Women
     Search for “Equal Pay Day”
The National Association of Female Executives (NAFE) has their 2005 Salary Survey (11/05) on their website at  “The survey collects data on average salaries for women and men from federal agencies and private trade and consulting firms to report on the gender gap in selected positions in 20 different industries.”

BPW/USA Supports Introduction of the Paycheck Fairness Act
Legislation Needed to Strengthen Remedies for the Wage Gap
Washington, DC, March 6, 2007–
Business and Professional Women/USA (BPW/USA) applauds Senator Clinton (D-NY) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) for reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act today. Both Members of Congress consider the issue of equal pay as one of their top legislative priorities, and BPW/USA will support them in moving the Paycheck Fairness Act forward in the 110th Congress.
BPW/USA supports the Paycheck Fairness Act because it would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by providing more effective remedies in cases of sex discrimination in the payment of wages. In 2007, when women make up 46 percent of the workforce many think that the issue of pay discrimination no longer exists; however labor statistics and the deluge of recent corporate law suits disprove that myth. The Equal Pay Act should be strengthened so that women who face discrimination have the legal backing and support they need.
Pay equity is a top legislative priority for BPW/USA because it significantly impacts workingwomen and their families,†said Deborah Frett, CEO of BPW/USA. “The wage gap not only affects women throughout their working lives, but also follows them into retirement defining their families’ financial future. The Paycheck Fairness Act would hold businesses accountable for paying their employees fairly,†noted Frett.
The wage gap costs the average American full-time workingwoman between $700,000 and $2 million over the course of her lifetime, according to economist Evelyn Murphy, president of the WAGE Project. Pay discrimination will continue unless actions are done to remedy it. According to the 2006 Census Bureau, full-time working women, on average, earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterpart. The passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act would be a significant action towards giving women economic parity.
For information on Equal Pay Day which will be recognized April 24, 2007 and BPW/USA’s other legislative priorities, please visit BPW/USA also has materials to educate women and businesses about the wage gap; visit us online today for a copy of our employer equal pay audit.
Founded in 1919, Business and Professional Women/USA is a multi-generational, nonpartisan membership organization which promotes equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education and information. Established as the first organization to focus on issues of workingwomen, BPW/USA is historically a leader in grassroots activism, policy influence and advocacy for millions of workingwomen.

WAGE Survey Of Working Women: Highlights
24, 2007
Equal Pay Day
To read the Survey Results, click on