Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

10 June 2008

Happy Birthday, Equal Pay Act!

You're 45, but don't look a day over 5.

Why? Because Fair Pay is still an issue, so it's hard to believe that you are 45. That for 45 years we have had fair pay "the law of the land" yet we still wonder if the man down the hall is getting paid more than we.

You are the law that made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform equal work — which was signed by President Kennedy back in 1963. Since women still only earn 77 cents to the dollar, you are in desperate need of some back-up. But even though several bills have been introduced repeatedly — including the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Fair Pay Act — Congress still hasn’t stepped up to the plate. Plus, of course, the Senate still hasn’t passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would have a major impact on the lives of women who’ve been subject to pay discrimination.

Of course, we wouldn't know if we were being discriminated against because some people don't have the legal right to know what everyone else is being paid.

So, on your birthday, I thank you for at least being on the books so we have something to point to when we know we're being screwed. The only present I can give you is some company and perhaps wishing you a new Supreme Court who will recognize your strength and allow you to do your work. Maybe I'll send my Senators (one of which is a Presidential candidate) a card reminding them that it's your birthday! Now they can really get you something.

Technorati tags: Fair Pay, Equal Pay, NWLC