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STRENGTHENING THE LILLY LEDBETTER FAIR PAY ACT

WHEREAS:

            In 1963 Congress enacted the Equal Pay Act (EPA) intended to end unfair discrimination against women in the workforce; and

WHEREAS:

            Although progress has been made, still 50 years later too many women earn 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes for the same or nearly the same kind of job. Circumstances are even worse for African American, Latina and other women of color; and

WHEREAS:

            Sex discrimination plays a major role in creating and sustaining the earning gap as shown in lawsuits against major companies such as Wal-Mart, Morgan Stanley and Wachovia, among others; and

WHEREAS:

            On Jan. 29, 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. The act overturned the disastrous Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., which had severely limited workers’ ability to vindicate their rights under federal anti-discrimination laws that prohibit pay discrimination. The Ledbetter Act restored the protection against pay discrimination stripped away by the Supreme Court’s decision; and

WHEREAS:

            The Ledbetter Act has made a critical difference to workers. The act restored the fair pay claims of many individuals around the country whose claims had been eviscerated by the Ledbetter decision; and

WHEREAS:

            Courts have interpreted the Ledbetter Act in sometimes conflicting ways, and issues surrounding the Act’s appropriate interpretation continue to emerge.  In addition, the Ledbetter Act expressly amended only Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and it did not mention other statutes under which individuals may raise pay discrimination claims; and

WHEREAS:

            The 2011 Paycheck Fairness Act improves and updates the remedy provisions of the Equal Pay Act  and Ledbetter Act by allowing victims of discrimination to win full compensatory and punitive damages,  making it easier to bring class action Equal Pay Act claims,  improving collection of  pay information and  prohibiting employer retaliation against those who share salary information with co-workers; and

WHEREAS:

            AFSCME has shown a historical commitment to fair pay and pay equality.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME will support the Paycheck Fairness Act and will lobby in favor of legislation created to strengthen the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.

SUBMITTED BY:    

Juan Fernandez, President and Delegate
Egbert Isaacs, Delegate
Sheera S. Glass, Delegate
Thomas Orawiec, Delegate
Alan Mendelson, Delegate
Diana Thillet, Alternate Delegate
Juliet White, Alternate Delegate
AFSCME Local 154, District Council 37
New York

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