TRENTON – Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) today marked the one year anniversary of the federal Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by calling upon the U.S. Senate to act quickly to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act already approved by the House of Representatives in order to put a decisive end to the pay inequalities that still exist along gender lines.
“If we learned anything through the Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, it’s that the value of a lifetime of hard work and dedication has a six-month expiration date. While the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was a necessary and right step to address the tremendous disservice done by the Supreme Court’s decision, it’s still not enough. Simply telling women they now have more time to sue for equal pay is not the kind of message that we should be sending to young women around this country in 2010.
“On the national level, we’ve elected our first female Speaker of the House and at the state level we now have our first African American female Assembly Speaker and our first female Senate Majority Leader, yet women in this country are still commanding only 78 cents to every dollar earned by men doing the same job. This is an inequality that should not exist as we look toward the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment.
“I have a six-year old granddaughter who is being raised to believe there are no limitations to what she can achieve. When it comes time for her to test these dreams in the real word, I cannot consciously look her in the eye and tell her that her dreams are not worth as much as those of her male counterparts. It is time for the U.S. Senate to follow the House’s lead and quickly pass the Paycheck Fairness Act,” said Sen. Weinberg.
The Paycheck Fairness Act, passed in the House of Representatives in January 2009 and now pending in the Senate, aims to strengthen current laws against wage discrimination and provides tools to enable the federal government to be more proactive in the fight. Among other things, the Paycheck Fairness Act would also close a significant loophole in the Equal Pay Act to allow for full compensation for sex-based wage discrimination.
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