WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray released the following statement on the 5th anniversary of the “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act”, which reversed the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Ledbetter v. Goodyear, and clarified that each time an employee is paid less than their co-workers for doing the same job, that unfair paycheck is a violation of the law that can be challenged in court.
“Five years ago today, I stood with Lilly and President Obama at the White House as the ink dried on his very first bill signed into law. That day we took a major step towards guaranteeing workers can get a fair chance to fight for their rights. However, we need to face up to the realities that we still have a long, tough road ahead. Women across this country are still struggling to find work that pays a living wage at a time when they’re balancing being both the breadwinners and caretakers in so many families. When we talk about economic inequality in America, we need to focus on the fact that women continue to be paid 77 cents for every dollar a man earns and make up two-thirds of all minimum wage workers. We need policy changes that focus on this critical part of our population if we are truly going to create economic opportunities that expand the middle class and strengthen American families. Those policy changes include raising the minimum wage, but they also must include pay equity, protecting access to affordable health care, and increasing early education and child care access. Millions of women across Washington state and our nation are teetering on the brink and I was glad to hear President Obama rightly focus on these specific issues during his State of the Union last evening. Ensuring workers get equal pay for the same work isn’t just about equal rights – it’s about doing the right thing for our families, our economy, and our country.”