Paycheck Fairness Act

On Tuesday, July 20, 2011, Senior Director Shari Miles-Cohen, PhD attended a White House Middle Class Task Force event to hear Vice President Joseph Biden implore members of the U.S. Senate to be “on the right side of history” by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 12 and S. 182), which would:

  1. Revise remedies for, and enforce prohibitions against, sex discrimination in the payment of wages.

  2. Train Equal Employment Opportunity Commission employees and affected individuals and entities on matters involving wage discrimination.

  3. Provide negotiation skills training programs for girls and women.

  4. Collect data on women workers.

  5. Establish the Secretary of Labor's National Award for Pay Equity in the Workplace.

Vice President Biden acknowledged the difficulty experts have with defining "middle class". His definition included living in a safe neighborhood in a decent home that you can heat and cool, where children can walk the streets safely, you have the ability to send your children to college, and the environment is safe and decent.

Joining Vice President Biden were Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Presidential Advisor and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls Valerie Jarrett, Presidential Democratic Policy Advisor and Director of the Domestic Policy Council Melody Barnes, and Lilly Ledbetter, of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first piece of legislation President Obama signed once he took office. In addition to urging final passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, the presenters announced recommendations from the Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force and discussed the Administration’s ongoing work addressing changing workplace and family dynamics.

"Victory for Pay Equity! On January 29, [2009,] President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, which deters discriminatory practices in the workplace and ensures that when discrimination does occur, wronged employees can receive fair compensation. APA, along with other advocates, urged Congress to pass this critical legislation and supports the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.12 and S.182). Passed by the House in January 2009, this legislation would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963, expand damages under the Equal Pay Act, commission a study of data collected by the EEOC, and propose voluntary guidelines to show employers how to evaluate jobs with the goal of eliminating unfair disparities."