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On Equal Pay Day, Reform Movement Calls for Wage Equity

Pelavin: “Paycheck fairness is a moral cause, enabling American families to gain the economic security they have earned through lifetimes of hard work.”

Contact: Kate Bigam or Samuel Lehman
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 20, 2010 — In observance of Equal Pay Day 2010, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

As we observe Equal Pay Day 2010, noting the date each year when women’s average earnings finally catch up to their male counterparts’ average earnings for the previous year, we remain acutely aware of the ongoing injustice of pay discrimination and the need to strengthen laws that protect victims.

Decades of hostile court decisions have weakened the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and other civil rights laws, stripping women of many legal options to combat pay discrimination. Today, the wage gap means hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost wages over the course of an average woman’s career. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, the first bill signed into law by President Obama, closed one of these legal loopholes – but there is still more work to be done. We call on Congress to commit to pay equity and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182), providing women with the needed tools to challenge pay discrimination in court.

Today, the words of Leviticus remain as true as in Biblical times: “You shall not defraud your neighbor, nor rob him; the wages of he who is hired shall not remain with you all night until the morning” (Leviticus 9:13). Paycheck fairness is a moral cause, enabling American families to gain the economic security they have earned through lifetimes of hard work, and we remain committed to its achievement this year.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis.`



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