Letters to the Editor

Equal Pay Act needs upgrade after 52 years

When the Equal Pay Act (EPA) was signed in 1963, a woman earned 59 cents to a man’s dollar. In 2015, 52 years later, women earn 78 cents per men’s dollar.

All individuals should be treated equally in the workplace. This means equal opportunities for jobs, employment and equal pay. The Paycheck Fairness Act, introduced in 2009, was intended to improve the EPA. However, the act was rejected and blocked in Congress in 2009, 2010, 2011 and in 2014. The Senate’s continued failure to pass this legislation has real-world implications for millions of American women and their families. Lawmakers who do not actively support the Paycheck Fairness Act are denying women’s economic rights and are refusing to acknowledge Washington women’s basic needs.

I urge everyone to send a letter to your representatives urging them to support the Paycheck Fairness Act and vote in favor of cloture, against any amendments, and for final passage. Sign the “Fair Pay Pledge” at equalrights.org/fairpaypledge. This pledge is organized by Equal Rights Advocates, a national civil rights organization dedicated to protecting and expanding economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls.

The bottom line is we need better legislation to close the gender pay gap and end gender discrimination in the workplace. Please take action today!

Rachel Friedman