AAUW Supports Recommendations from White House Middle-Class Task Force

July 20, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Lisa Goodnight, goodnightl@aauw.org
202.785.7738

 

Applauds Administration Officials for Urging Passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act

WASHINGTON – AAUW strongly supports the recommendations unveiled today by the Vice President’s White House Middle-Class Task Force and the White House Council on Women and Girls. These timely recommendations address ways to improve equal pay enforcement and highlight the Obama administration’s efforts to improve work-family balance for all Americans.

The National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force, which reports to Vice President Joe Biden, made a number of recommendations, one of which strongly urges the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182). This critical bill, passed by the House last year, includes several elements designed to address the stubborn, pernicious gender pay gap in America. The bill would create stronger incentives for employers to follow the law, empower women to negotiate for equal pay, and strengthen federal outreach, education, and enforcement efforts.

“AAUW is pleased that today’s announcement puts pay equity back into the national discussion and the legislative agenda, right where it belongs,” said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. “Pay discrimination doesn’t just hurt working women; it hurts the majority of American families. I cannot stress this enough — the recovery of the nation’s middle class begins and ends with fair-paying jobs.”

Even though two-thirds of all women are either the primary or co-breadwinners for their families, the average woman makes a mere 77 cents for every dollar earned by her male counterpart. In April, AAUW released a state-by-state ranking of the pay gap and has collaborated with the National Partnership for Women and Families to produce fact sheets that underscore the human cost of pay discrimination.

President Barack Obama announced the creation of the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force during his State of the Union address. The task force was formed to ensure that the agencies with responsibility for equal pay enforcement are coordinating their efforts and limiting potential gaps in enforcement. The task force recommended

    • improving interagency coordination on enforcement of workplace discrimination laws,
    • improving wage collection data in the private sector,
    • creating a public education campaign about the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees with respect to preventing workplace discrimination,
    • striving to make the federal government a model employer on these issues, and
    • passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.

“As a key leader in the coalition effort to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, AAUW appreciates this strong, public stance by the administration in support of this critical legislation. With the leadership of the White House, as well as Senate sponsor Sen. Chris Dodd and House sponsor Rep. Rosa DeLauro, we have an important opportunity to make real progress in finally closing the wage gap. We strongly urge the Senate to act on this critical legislation before Congress adjourns,” said Lisa Maatz, AAUW director of public policy and government relations.

Maatz attended the announcement at the White House in recognition of AAUW’s leadership role in efforts to close the pay gap between women and men.

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By:   |   July 20, 2010