On April 9, I did a blog on Equal Pay Day discussing the lack of equity in pay between men and women’s work. In that blog, I discussed the need to pass the federal Paycheck Fairness Act.
Part of the process of obtaining passage of a bill is to get as many legislators as possible to sign on as a co-sponsor of the bill you are interested in. In the US House of Representatives, there are currently 206 co-sponsors of the House version of the bill – H.R. 377. In the US Senate, there are currently 46 co-sponsors of the Senate version, S. 84.
The main coalition pushing for paycheck fairness and pay equity is the National Committee on Pay Equity. This morning, I opened up an email from a listserv I’m on regarding the Paycheck Fairness Act. Michele Leber, Chair of the National Committee on Pay Equity sent out the following message, asking everyone to spread the word to their friends and colleagues in Virginia. Here’s what she said:
“We learned yesterday [April 24] from the office of Rosa DeLauro, our pay equity champion in the House of Representatives, that every Democrat in the House is now a PFA cosponsor! To reach that goal in the Senate, we need just a few more Democrats, among them Mark Warner of Virginia.
At a meeting yesterday in Warner’s office, his legislative aide said the best way to get Warner’s cosponsorship was to send the senator messages of support for the bill. So please rally any contacts, groups, or chapters that you have in Virginia, asking persons to contact Sen. Warner’s office by phone at 202-224-2023 and/or by e-mail at http://www.warner.senate.gov/public//index.cfm?p=ContactPage, asking him to cosponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act, S.84.
With the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Equal Pay Act coming up on June 10, this is particularly important now.”
If you live in Virginia and are a constituent, please follow Michelle’s request and contact Senator Warner regarding co-sponsorship.
If you don’t live in Virginia, you can find out where your US legislators stand on the Paycheck Fairness Act by going to http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php. In the search box in the middle of the page, type in “Paycheck Fairness Act” and click search. On the next page, two bills will show up—S. 84 and H.R. 377. This page provides several links to information about both of these bills—text, bill history, co-sponsors, etc. If you click on “cosponsors” for each bill, you can determine if your representatives are publicly supporting the bill or not. If they are a sponsor, thank them and then ask them to call for a hearing and vote on the bill. If they are not, ask them to sign on.