Zonta Signs Letter in Support of Paycheck Fairness Act

Zonta Supports Paycheck Fairness Act

Please add your own voice to this demand for Paycheck Fairness at Zonta’s Advocacy Action Center: (Fast Action)

Fast Action

Letter to Members of Congress by Organizations in Support of the Paycheck Fairness act.

 Co-Sponsor and Support Swift Passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act 

February 3, 2021 

Dear Member of Congress: 

As members of a broad coalition of organizations that promote economic opportunity for women and vigorous enforcement of antidiscrimination laws, we strongly urge you to co-sponsor and push for swift passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act as a top priority of the 117th Congress. Despite federal and state equal pay laws, gender pay gaps persist, and earnings lost to these gaps are exacerbating the financial effects of COVID-19, falling particularly heavily on women of color and the families who depend on their income. This legislation offers a much needed update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by providing new tools to battle pervasive pay gaps and to challenge discrimination. 

The COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism have exposed how the work performed primarily by women, and particularly Black and brown women, has long been and continues to be undervalued and underpaid, even as the rest of the country is newly recognizing the essential nature of this work. Black women, Latinas, and other women of color are especially likely to be on the front lines of the crisis, risking their lives in jobs in health care, child care, and grocery stores; they are also being paid less than their male counterparts. At the same time, women in this country lost more than 5 million jobs in 2020; indeed, women accounted for 100% of the jobs lost in December 2020. The unemployment rate for Black women and Latinas remains exceptionally high. These high jobless numbers threaten to exacerbate gender wage gaps when women regain employment. We cannot build back an economy that works for everyone without ensuring that all women can work with equality, safety, and dignity, starting with pay equity. 

There is no more fitting way to begin this session than by making real, concrete progress in ensuring all women receive fair pay. The Paycheck Fairness Act updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to ensure that it provides robust protection against sex-based pay discrimination. Among other provisions, this comprehensive bill

  • bars retaliation against workers who voluntarily discuss or disclose their wages.
  • closes loopholes that have allowed employers to pay women less than men for the same work without any important business justification related to the job.
  •  ensures women can receive the same robust remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subjected to discrimination based on race and ethnicity.
  • prohibits employers from relying on salary history in determining future pay, so that pay discrimination does not follow women from job to job. And
  • provides much needed training and technical assistance, as well as data collection and research. 

Women are increasingly the primary or co-breadwinner in their families and cannot afford to be shortchanged any longer. Women working full-time, year-round are typically paid only 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. But for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts, Black women only make 63 cents, Native women only 60 cents, and Latinas only 55 cents. While Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women make 87 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, women in many AAPI communities experience drastically wider pay gaps. Furthermore, moms are paid less than dads. And even when controlling for factors, such as education and experience, the pay gaps persist and start early in women’s careers and contribute to a wealth gap that follows them throughout their lifetimes. These pay gaps can be addressed only if workers have the legal tools necessary to challenge discrimination and employers are provided with effective incentives and technical assistance to comply with the law. 

We recently commemorated the twelfth anniversary of the enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. That vital law rectified the Supreme Court’s harmful decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. The law helps to ensure that individuals subjected to unlawful compensation discrimination are able to have their day in court and effectively assert their rights under federal antidiscrimination laws. But the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, critical as it is, is only one step on the path to ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work. It’s time to take the next step toward achieving equal pay. We urge you to prioritize the Paycheck Fairness Act in the 117th 

Congress by co-sponsoring and urging swift passage of this legislation, taking up the cause of Lilly Ledbetter and all those who have fought for equal pay. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Kate Nielson, Director of Public Policy & Legal Advocacy at the American Association of University Women at 202.728.7617 or nielsonk@aauw.org, or Emily Martin, Vice President for Education & Workplace Justice at the National Women’s Law Center at 202.588.5180 or emartin@nwlc.org. 

Sincerely, 

9to5 

A Better Balance 

AFCPE (Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education) 

All-Options 

American Association of University Women (AAUW) 

American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Unions (AFL-CIO) 

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 

American Federation of Teachers 

AnitaB.org 

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA 

Bend the Arc Jewish Action 

California Women’s Law Center 

Catalyst 

Center for American Progress 

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) 

Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research 

Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues 

Coalition of Labor Union Women 

Philadelphia Coalition of Labor Union Women 

Community Health Councils 

Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces 

Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) 

Disciples Center for Public Witness 

Equal Pay Today 

Equal Rights Advocates 

Every Texan 

Family Forward Oregon 

Family Values @ Work 

Feminist Majority Foundation 

Futures Without Violence 

Gender Justice 

Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, USA-JPIC 

In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda 

Indiana Institute for Working Families 

Institute for Women’s Policy Research 

Justice for Migrant Women 

KWH Law Center for Social Justice and Change 

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement 

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights 

League of Women Voters of the United States 

Legal Aid at Work 

Legal Momentum, The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund 

Legal Voice 

MANA, A National Latina Organization 

Methodist Federation for Social Action 

Mi Familila Vota 

Michigan League for Public Policy 

MomsRising 

NAACP 

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd 

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) 

National Association of Social Workers 

National Center for Law and Economic Justice 

National Committee on Pay Equity 

National Council of Jewish Women 

National Domestic Violence Hotline 

National Education Association 

National Employment Law Project 

National Employment Lawyers Association 

National Employment Lawyers Association – Eastern Pennsylvania 

National Employment Lawyers Association – Georgia 

National Network to End Domestic Violence 

National Organization for Women 

Florida NOW 

Illinois NOW 

Indiana NOW 

Jacksonville NOW 

Kanawha Valley NOW 

Maryland NOW 

Monroe County NOW 

Montana NOW 

Northwest Indiana NOW 

South Jersey NOW-Alice Paul chapter 

National Partnership for Women & Families 

National WIC Association 

National Women’s Law Center 

National Women’s Political Caucus 

Native Women Lead 

NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice 

New Jersey Citizen Action 

NewsGuild-CWA 

New York Women’s Foundation 

North Carolina Justice Center 

People For the American Way 

PowHer New York 

Prosperity Now 

Reinventure Capital 

Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United 

Service Employees International Union 

Shriver Center on Poverty Law 

TIME’S UP Now 

U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce 

Union for Reform Judaism 

United State of Women 

WNY Women’s Foundation 

Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania 

Women Employed 

Women of Reform Judaism 

Women’s Fund of Rhode Island 

Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation 

Women’s Law Project 

Women’s Media Center 

Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network 

YWCA USA 

Zonta USA Caucus