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Six Facts about Equal Pay on the Sixth Anniversary of Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Posted by Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Director of Research and Policy Analysis | Posted on: January 29, 2015 at 11:09 am

Today marks six years since President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law. This law restores important protections against pay discrimination which were stripped away in the Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and is a critical step in the fight to close the wage gap. But the fight is far from finished. Here are six facts that show how much farther we still have to go:*

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“I Thought They Were Treating Me Fairly,” Or, Honoring Lilly Ledbetter by Eliminating Pay Secrecy Policies

Posted by Abigail Bar-Lev, Fellow | Posted on: January 29, 2015 at 10:50 am

“I thought I was earning good pay. I thought they were treating me fairly.” Those are the words of Lilly Ledbetter, whose story and Supreme Court case eight years ago opened many eyes to the egregious pay discrimination that continues across the American workforce.  Her story even moved Congress to act. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama six years ago today as one of his first official acts as President, restored longstanding law and helped to ensure that individuals subjected to unlawful pay discrimination are able to effectively assert their rights under the federal anti-discrimination laws. The Act operated to overturn a ruling by the Supreme Court, which would have required individuals to file claims for pay discrimination within 180 days of the first instance of discrimination—even where the employee does not learn about the discrimination until years or decades later, as what happened to Lilly Ledbetter. Under the Act, each discriminatory paycheck (rather than simply the original decision to discriminate) resets the 180-day limit to file a claim.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act has been a critical tool for victims of pay discrimination and it has reestablished employer accountability for pay discrimination. And yet, the Act is just one of many tools needed to rectify pay discrimination and close the gender-based wage gap, which remains at about 78 cents on the dollar.

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Hearings for AG Nominee Loretta Lynch Begin This Morning

Posted by Amy K. Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Women and the Courts | Posted on: January 28, 2015 at 10:43 am

This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee begins its hearings for Loretta Lynch, nominated to be Attorney General of the United States. Ms. Lynch, currently U.S.

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President Obama Proposes Significant New Investments in Child Care

Posted by Karen Schulman, Senior Policy Analyst | Posted on: January 28, 2015 at 09:12 am

Last week was a big week for child care and early education. On Saturday, the White House announced a proposal for a fairer tax code that invests in middle-class families, including an expansion of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC). On Tuesday, President Obama emphasized the importance of child care during his State of the Union address, saying that it’s time we stop treating child care as a side issue, or as a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us. And on Thursday, the President announced a major new proposal to make high-quality child care available for all infants and toddlers in low- and moderate income families, and highlighted the proposal during a visit to a Head Start center and a speech in Lawrence, Kansas. The expanded child care tax credit and child care assistance proposals would be paid for by making very wealthy investors pay their fair share of taxes and fees on large financial institutions.

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Religious Refusals — More Like Discrimination

Posted by Rachel Parker, Intern | Posted on: January 22, 2015 at 06:24 pm

In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court recognized that a woman has a right to make fundamental decisions affecting her health and future, including whether or not to obtain an abortion. In the decades since Roe, women and their families have come to rely on the right to an abortion.

Today, however, the well-established right to an abortion is being attacked under the guise of religious freedom, putting a woman’s ability to obtain a safe, legal abortion in jeopardy. The first refusal law was enacted shortly after Roe, allowing individuals and entities to refuse to provide abortions or sterilizations due to religious beliefs. Since then, nearly every state has adopted a comparable law. Recent years have seen an increase in legislative activity related to refusal laws, as well as an expansion of refusal rights. For example, in some states medical professionals can refuse to provide referrals to women, pharmacists can refuse to fill birth control prescriptions, and hospitals can refuse to offer health care services to which it is opposed.

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States Take Aim at Roe

Posted by Rachel Easter, Fellow | Posted on: January 22, 2015 at 04:56 pm

Forty-two years ago the Supreme Court recognized that a woman’s right to decide whether to have an abortion is a fundamental right, and the Court stated in no uncertain terms that “The detriment that the State would impose upon the pregnant woman by denying this choice altogether is apparent.” The landmark case changed the lives of millions of American women over the last four decades. And with the right to decide firmly entrenched we all lived happily ever after, right?  Nope. Wrong.

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Mayhem in the House of Representatives

Posted by Leila Abolfazli, Senior Counsel | Posted on: January 22, 2015 at 01:25 pm

Who knew a fight over a reporting requirement for rape survivors could take down a horrible bill that would impose a nationwide abortion ban on later pregnancies? But that’s exactly what happened last night. Just as I was about to get on a treadmill to work out the stresses of the day, I learned that the House Rules Committee was hastily convening at 9 pm to replace the 20 week ban bill with a totally different anti-abortion bill.

You can’t make this stuff up when it comes to abortion politics.

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The Real Cost of Abortion Restrictions

Posted by Kelli Garcia, Senior Counsel | Posted on: January 22, 2015 at 01:08 pm

On Tuesday, while President Obama reminded us, “[T]hat every women should have access to the health care she needs,” I was returning home from the premiere of Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign. Some of the stories were heartbreaking and some were amazingly uplifting, but they all had one thing in common—each woman made the decision that was best for her and her family.

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