In a letter to the leadership of the U.S. Senate, LDF asked for swift passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 3772) in this lameduck period.   This bill would close the loopholes of the Equal Pay Act, passed in 1963, and strengthen its protections by adding remedies for wage discrimination, for example.

LDF noted that African-American women often suffer wage disparities on the bases of both gender and race. Women generally still earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, but the numbers are even worse for women of color:  African-American women earn only 69 cents for every dollar earned by men generally, and only 61 cents for every dollar earned by white men.  Stating that [t]he consequences of this wage inequality for African-American women are enormous, LDF cited a recent study which found that single African-American women have just one penny of the wealth that their black male counterparts have and, just a fraction of the wealth that their white female counterparts have.

The letter concluded: The Paycheck Fairness Act represents a tremendous step forward in the decades-long quest for pay equity among our nations workers.