Tuesday is Equal Pay Day — that means it’s the point in 2008 when the average woman’s wages finally catch up with what the average man earned in all of 2007.

So, Women’s Voices for Change is joining the blogging aspect of the campaign. This year, the National Women’s Law Center is campaigning to get the U.S. Senate to pass the Fair Pay Restoration Act, which will help women who face pay discrimination take action against their employers. Here’s some background on the issue:

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R. 2831) will reverse the recent Supreme Court decision Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., which severely limits workers’ ability to vindicate their rights and distorts Congress’ intent to eliminate sex and other forms of discrimination in the workplace.

In Ledbetter, the Supreme Court held that employees cannot challenge ongoing compensation discrimination if the employer’s original discriminatory decision occurred more than 180 days before, even when the employee continues to receive paychecks that have been discriminatorily reduced. Prior to this decision, the law, as interpreted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and nine of ten courts of appeals that have considered the issue, treated each discriminatory paycheck as a separate discriminatory act that started a new 180-day clock.

Because pay information is often confidential, it may take a long time for an employee to realize that she is experiencing compensation discrimination. And if employers are insulated from liability after 180 days, they have little incentive to correct pay discrimination that occurs. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would restore long-standing law and promote voluntary compliance with anti-discrimination laws by employers.

Click here to learn more about what you can do to support the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. And read more about Equal Pay Day at WomensTake, the blog of the National Women’s Law Center.

-Elaine and Christine

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