Saxby Chambliss recently voted against the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which would ensure that victims of pay discrimination can hold their employers accountable under existing anti-discrimination laws. Chambliss’ vote comes one day after Equal Pay Day, which highlights the disparity in wages between women and men – currently at 74 cents to the dollar in Georgia , even lower than the national average of 77%.
“The last thing hardworking Georgia families need is a paycheck further slashed by discrimination, but Saxby Chambliss passed on guaranteeing equal pay for equal work today,” DSCC spokesman Matthew Miller said. “With Saxby Chambliss’ record, it’s no wonder he voted against holding people accountable today, but that’s exactly what the voters are going to do to him in November.”
The bill, which passed the House last July, would restore civil rights laws to their state before a Supreme Court decision last April drastically reduced the ability of women, African Americans, and other victims of employment discrimination to hold their bosses accountable and receive the pay they deserve. The decision shielded employers who discriminate on pay from anti-discrimination lawsuits if they can keep the discrimination secret for the first six months.
Chambliss Stands with Activist Judges Against Workers. The Supreme Court opinion was a 5-4 decision by a narrow majority of conservative activist judges that consistently rules for big businesses against their workers. The decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyearoverturned Congressional intent, earlier precedent, and the overwhelming consensus of the appeals courts. [Ledbetter v. Goodyear, Ginsburg, J., dissenting, 5/29/07 ; Los Angeles Times, 6/21/07 ]
CBO Shoots Down Flimsy Republican Excuse for Protecting Employers Who Discriminate. According to the Congressional Budget Office, “H.R. 2831 would not establish a new cause of action for claims of pay discrimination. Because many variables influence the filing of a claim for pay discrimination, CBO expects that the bill would not significantly affect the number of filings with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).” [Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate on HR 2831, 7/12/07]
Georgia Women Earn 74% What Georgia Men Earn. According to the American Association of University Women, the median annual earnings of college educated women in Georgia were 74% that of college educated men. [ AAUW]
The Republican-Bush Economy Has Been Bad for Most, But Especially African Americans. Since 2000, the median income for African American families has fallen by almost 10% and is less than two-thirds the median white income. During the same period, all Americans’ median income has fallen less than 2%. [ U.S. Census Bureau, 8/07]