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Pelavin:When the Supreme Court ruled in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. that all wage discrimination cases had to be filed within 180 days of the first discriminatory pay check, it severely impeded decades of progress that protected a worker’s right to fair pay.
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Washington, DC | January 30, 2008 – As the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee considers the Fair Pay Restoration Act (S. 1843), Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, sent the following letter to Senators highlighting the Reform Movement’s support of the legislation. The full text of the letter follows:
On behalf 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 (CCAR), whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis, I write to urge you to co-sponsor and vote for the Fair Pay Restoration Act (S. 1843).
The Fair Pay Restoration Act (S. 1843) will restore the right to recourse for individuals facing employment discrimination by clarifying the current statute so that every paycheck is considered a new act of discrimination. When the Supreme Court ruled in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. that all wage discrimination cases had to be filed within 180 days of the first discriminatory pay check, it severely impeded decades of progress that protected a worker’s right to fair pay. The Court’s decision ignores the realities of employment practices; employers rarely advertise their discriminatory practices and it takes time, often years, before an employee may become aware of the disparate wage.
This stipulation will particularly affect women and minorities, groups who already earn disproportionately less than the national average. As Justice Ginsburg said in her dissent, “this court does not comprehend, or is indifferent to, the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay discrimination.”
The notion that all people are created b’tzelem elohim, in God’s image, is at the root of the Reform Movement’s commitment to ensuring just treatment for all workers. The Biblical imperative to deal justly with the wages we dispense and not defraud our neighbors (Leviticus 9:13) also guides our belief in the importance of fair pay for fair labor.
Please help protect workers’ rights by co-sponsoring this important legislation.
Mark J. Pelavin Associate Director