Obama Signs Lilly Ledbetter Act (Jerry Nadler FLIKR)
Last week we celebrated the 7th anniversary of President Obama signing the Lilly Ledbetter Act to fight the gender wage inequality. Some, including my own Senator, Kelly Ayotte, are still fighting against the hard working women of the Granite State by opposing legislation to close the gender wage gap.
According to the National Women’s Law Center, women make 76 cents for every dollar earned by men in New Hampshire. The numbers are worse for minority women: African American women earn 65 cents and Latinas 70 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.
“The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act marked a critical step forward in the fight to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work, but the fight is far from over,” said NH Democratic Party Press Secretary Melissa Miller. “Women are still paid an average of 79 cents on the dollar for full-time work compared to men, while politicians like Kelly Ayotte stand on the wrong side of progress by obstructing efforts to close the wage gap to appease their special interest backers like the Koch Brothers.”
In June 2012, Ayotte voted against a procedural vote to move forward with S. 3220, Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (also known as the Equal Pay Act), “to revise remedies for, enforcement of, and exceptions to prohibitions against sex discrimination in the payment of wages.” The Paycheck Fairness Act would require a clarification in reasons for differences in wages paid to men and women doing the same work. The motion was rejected 52-47.
Ayotte’s opposition to equal pay legislation does not stop there. In April of 2014, Ayotte voted to block a “bill that would require employers to demonstrate that wage gaps between men and women with similar qualifications and in similar jobs have a business justification. It would prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information and authorize the Labor secretary to seek additional compensatory or punitive damages in a sex discrimination action. The bill also would require the Labor Department to provide training and collect wage information,” wrote CQ magazine.
And again in September 2014 , Ayotte voted against a bill to strengthen federal equal pay laws for women.
“Yet again, Kelly Ayotte has shown that she could not be more out of touch when it comes to the issues that matter to women and families. Time and time again, she’s voted against the wellbeing of New Hampshire women—and her record of voting to block gender equality in pay is especially shameful,” said Marcy Stech, communications director for EMILY’s List.
Just to show how much she cared Senator Ayotte voted against Paycheck Fairness legislation multiple times and in turn submitted her own legislation to make the problem worse.
“Ayotte voted against Paycheck Fairness a whole bunch of times. And then, just for kitten-heel kicks, she and some of her fellow lady Republicans introduced their own adorable “Equal Pay” bill, which wouldn’t actually strengthen equal pay laws so much as weaken them by creating extra loopholes for employers. It’s like the same thing, only different,” wrote Kaili Joy Gray for Wonkette.
“It is troubling that Senator Ayotte has gone so far out of her way to oppose this basic economic equality – voting four times against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help ensure that women can earn equal pay for equal work. And even worse, she is now trying to cover up her record with a sham bill rife with loopholes that would continue allowing employers to prevent the sharing of salary information and keep women from determining when they are being paid less than their male counterparts.,” said Maggie for NH Campaign Treasurer Kathy Sullivan.
“In November, New Hampshirites have a clear choice to elect a true champion in Maggie Hassan, who will move forward solutions for New Hampshire women – and make sure that they are finally paid what they deserve,” said Stech.
“Lilly Ledbetter took her fight for equality and fairness all the way, powering through opposition to change the laws that held her back. And so will women across the Granite State. New Hampshire women deserve a Senator who will fight for progress and economic security for their families, not a Senator who hides behind sham legislation while standing in the way of equality and fairness,” added Miller.