No fooling — women working full-time, year-round, are still paid 77 cents on average for every dollar paid to men. Even after controlling for factors known to affect earnings, such as occupation, college major, and hours worked, AAUW researchers found that a 7 percent pay gap persists between male and female college graduates just one year after graduation. Outrageous!
Every worker deserves to take home the pay she has rightfully earned. That's the American way and a basic civil right. But gender discrimination persists in the workplace, and our laws prohibiting discrimination and empowering employees and employers to work together to ensure equity are outdated.
Even worse than the reality of the wage gap is the sad fact that few women actually know if they are being paid fairly. Some don't feel safe asking these questions at work for fear of retaliation from their bosses. They could even be fired! No fooling.
For a problem as big as unequal pay, we need the president, Congress, and elected state officials to step up and enact measures that would close loopholes in existing anti-discrimination laws, allow employees to ask about wages and salary without fear of retribution, and provide employees and employers with the information and technical assistance they need to follow the law.
To mark Equal Pay Day, April 8, join AAUW in the fight to make fair pay a reality.
Dear President Obama:
I stand with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in urging you to continue to lead the fight for equal pay for women.
For a problem as big as unequal pay, we need all hands on deck. While Congress continues to bicker over various pay equity bills, we need you to issue regulations and executive orders that will help to close loopholes in existing anti-discrimination laws. Specifically, we urge you to issue an executive order that would allow employees of federal contractors to disclose their wages or ask about wage practices at work without fear of retribution. For many of these workers, talking or asking about their wages today could mean disciplinary measures and even dismissal.
Like your Minimum Wage Executive Order, this executive order is a commonsense step you can take right now, improving the prospects for 22 percent of the total workforce with one stroke of your pen. And, where the federal workplace goes, the private sector often follows.
[Your comments here]
I urge you to use all the powers at your disposal to lead the way in addressing the ongoing scourge of gender pay discrimination.
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