Senate Approves Fair Pay for Women
Kerry Calls Action "Essential, Long Overdue"
By a vote of 61 to 36, the Senate today overwhelmingly passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act strengthening a woman's ability to ensure equal pay for each paycheck she earns. Senator John Kerry (D - Mass.), who voted in support of the legislation, called for its swift enactment.
"Today we moved one step closer to righting an injustice that has persisted for far too long," said Kerry. "Women haven't just been paid less for doing the same work; they've been sent a none-too-subtle message that their thoughts and efforts are valued less. This legislation clarifies what the Supreme Court should have known that employers discriminate every time they issue an unfair paychecknot just the first time. We should make it easier for discrimination to be rooted out, not harder. I especially want to congratulate my senior senator and mentor Ted Kennedy on the passage of this bill. His leadership has brought us one step closer to closing the pay gap and once again he is in the vanguard of the fight against discrimination."
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act clarifies that the laws against pay discrimination apply to every paycheck or other compensation a worker receives - allowing workers to sue for pay discrimination no matter when they realized they were being discriminated against. When the Equal Pay Act of 1963 passed, women were making 59 cents to every one dollar earned by their male counterparts. Today, that number is still only 78 cents.