Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Conyers: Equal Pay for Women Also A Civil Rights Issue for Working Families

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) released the following statement marking Equal Pay Day.  This day marks the point at which a woman, on average, has finally earned the same amount as her male counterpart during the previous year.  As Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee during the 111th Congress, Representative Conyers helped send to President Obama’s desk the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pair Act, which restored to women and other workers who are the victims of discriminatory decisions or practices the right to sue for just compensation.   

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.

“Equal pay for women is a civil rights issue that is increasingly not just a question of equality under the law for the individual but also one of economic justice for working people and their families,”  said Conyers.  “This is because pay discrimination effects not only the woman being discriminated against but her family as well.  Working families are increasingly reliant on the wages earned by women to make ends meet.  In 1983, a woman’s wages in a typical married household accounted for 29 percent of the family’s total income.  In 2008, that number had risen to 36 percent.  America’s working families literally cannot afford to continue to live in a Nation where women still only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.”     

“I consider helping to make the Lilly Ledbetter Act the law of the land one of my proudest achievements as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.   But Congress needs to do more.  That is why I am also an original cosponsor of H.R. 1519, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which provides a much-needed update to the 49-year-old Equal Pay Act by providing effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work.

“In order to strengthen working families and ensure fairness in this important aspect of American women’s lives, Congress must work together to make sure the right to equal pay for equal work is enshrined in the law and adhered to in every workplace across the Nation.”

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