NAACP Legal Defense Fund : Defend, Educate, Empower

Skip to Navigation
"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

Paycheck Fairness Act

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email updates from LDF.

Find A Case

Can't find the case or issue you're looking for? Use our search tool to sort through the complete list.

Search Now

11/16/10
Washington, D.C. Advocacy | Equal Pay

In September 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau released updated data on annual income for all demographics.  Unfortunately, the figures show that equal pay for African-American women remains an uphill struggle.  Women of color still suffer from significant pay disparities not only between men and women, but also between whites and minorities. 

According to the Census, African-American women only earn 64 cents for every dollar earned by white men.  African-American women earn 69.5 cents for every dollar earned by men generally.  Overall, women still earn only 77 cents of every dollar earned by men.

New data on household income show the impact of wage disparities on African-American families.  The median income for African-American households, $32,229, is 61.7 percent of the median income for white households, $52,214.  The Census report is available here.

To eliminate this inequality, LDF seeks to strengthen civil rights laws ensuring equal pay.  In a letter to the U.S. Senate this fall, LDF renewed its support of the Paycheck Fairness Act, S. 3220.  This bill would strengthen the provisions of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to address more fully the persistent wage disparities between women and men.

The legislation would ensure that women receive the same remedies for wage discrimination based on gender as those subjected to wage discrimination on the basis of race or national origin.  The legislation requires that employers must show that any wage disparity is due to a business justification and stems from factors not related to gender.  The legislation ensures enforcement by requiring the collection of wage data based on sex, race and national origin and by training those responsible for equal pay enforcement.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act by an overwhelming bipartisan majority.  In the Senate, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) has introduced S. 3220, which currently has 37 co-sponsors.  LDF is hopeful the Senate will pass this long overdue legislation.

LDF has been a steadfast proponent of strong equal pay laws.  We were ardent supporters of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-2, 123 Stat. 5 (2009), which sought to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter v, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 550 U.S. 618 (2007).  The Supreme Court ruled that the statute of limitations for filing an equal pay claim began on the date the employer decided to discriminate, and not the date of the most recent unequal paycheck, which had been widely accepted by courts.  Thankfully, Congress repaired the damage caused by this decision by passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.  Significantly, this was the first bill which President Obama signed into law.  LDF attended the signing ceremony at the White House on January 29, 2009.  

 

The Paycheck Fairness Act was passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009.  LDF is asking the Senate to pass this critical piece of legislation immediately without the addition of amendments.The Paycheck Fairness Act is a bill which aims to strengthen the provisions of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 in order to address more fully the persistent wage disparities between women and men.  Throughout its history, LDF has fought for the equal rights and access to opportunity for African American workers regardless of race and gender.  Despite this, African American women still experience the compounded negative impact of pay disparities between men and women and those between whites and minorities.    
 
This legislation would ensure that women receive the same remedies for wage discrimination based on gender as those subjected to wage discrimination on the basis of race or national origin.  The legislation also requires that, in the event of wage disparity, an employer must show that it exists due to a business justification and stems from factors not related to gender.  Finally the legislation ensures enforcement by requiring the collection of wage related data based on sex, race and national origin and by training of those responsible for equal pay enforcement.
 
The Paycheck Fairness Act was passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009.  LDF is asking the Senate to pass this critical piece of legislation immediately without the addition of amendments.