Weinstein: “In these trying economic times, fair pay is not only a right but a vital tool, enabling women to provide for themselves and their families.”
Contact: Kate Bigam or Jill Zimmerman
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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2009 — In observance of Equal Pay Day 2009, Barbara Weinstein, Legislative Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
As we observe Equal Pay Day, we are acutely aware of the wage gap that continues to hinder women in the workplace and of the urgent need to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.
Early this year, we celebrated when Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, providing women the right to challenge wage discrimination in court. But as Ms. Ledbetter has said, “With this bill in place, we now can move forward to where we all hope to be – improving the law, not just restoring it.” We call on Congress to build on the Ledbetter bill and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182). The bill will close legal loopholes that permit pay discrimination as well as bar retaliation against workers who disclose their wages.
As Jews, we are inspired by our tradition, which commands, “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). In these trying economic times, fair pay is not only a right but a vital tool, enabling women to provide for themselves and their families.
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.