Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lilly Ledbetter's Fight

Today I have a piece up in Comment is Free about how the legislation touted by many as a big achievement for closing the pay gap, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that Obama is expected to sign this week, is merely one of many things Obama needs to do to right the Bush legacy. To really address pay discrimination, more action needs to be taken:

The Ledbetter act is certainly legislation to be celebrated by feminists and equal rights advocates everywhere, but in many ways the legislation is just one remedy in a long list of injustices done in the last eight years and a minor step up in the battle for equal pay. After all, the law only returns to what was practiced before the court's decision and gives women the right to sue.

On average, women still earn less than 80 cents for every dollar a man earns, and the gap becomes even greater for women of colour. The kinds of legislation that might address that pay gap are much more difficult battles to fight. To examine paycheque discrimination in a real way, we need to begin to think about greater pay transparency and more family-friendly workplace policies.

Go ahead and read the whole thing.

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