ongressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) today gathered with Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and local female business leaders to celebrate the anniversaries of two landmark laws that have dramatically improved the lives of women and working families. The event at Savage Mill was Congressman Ruppersberger's official debut in Howard County.
Today is the fourth anniversary of the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act," which reversed a Supreme Court decision that had severely limited women's ability to fight unlawful pay discrimination. Next week will mark the 20th anniversary of the "Family Medical Leave Act," which enables parents to take job-protected, unpaid leave for things like caring for a new baby or dealing with their own or a family member's serious medical condition.
"Treating working women differently just because they are women isn't just wrong -- it's bad economics," Congressman Ruppersberger said. "Working families are the backbone of this nation and they need elected officials on their side. I will continue to support efforts in Congress to improve the work-life balance of working moms and dads, especially in this tough economy."
Congressman Ruppersberger sponsors legislation to expand the child care tax credit and cosponsors the "Paycheck Fairness Act," which works to close the gender wage gap. Studies show women are still earning only about 77 percent of what men make for the same work. Event participants called on Congress to pass the legislation today.
"I applaud Rep. Ruppersberger for his commitment to equality, and I will continue to work as hard as I can to ensure that earnings, promotions and career opportunities are based on skills, experience and qualifications -- not gender," said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. "We've come a long way, but we have further to go."
"On behalf of working women and working moms, I would like to thank Congressman Ruppersberger for his commitment to equal pay for women," said Angie Goodwin Johnson, president of the Business Women's Network of Howard County. "The legislation he supports, both past and future, helps women have peace of mind and care for their families while pursuing their careers."