PI Original Josh Kalven Thursday August 7th, 2008, 9:34am

10th District Residents Protest Kirk's Vote Against Pay Equity

Yesterday, a group of 10th District residents protested GOP Rep. Mark Kirk's opposition to the
Paycheck Fairness Act. This piece of legislation -- HR 1338 -- strengthened penalties for violations of the Equal Pay Act and required employers to show that wage ...

Yesterday, a group of 10th District residents protested GOP Rep. Mark Kirk's opposition to the Paycheck Fairness Act. This piece of legislation -- HR 1338 -- strengthened penalties for violations of the Equal Pay Act and required employers to show that wage disparities between men and women performing the same work stemmed from factors other than their gender. On July 31, Kirk voted against the measure, along with the rest of the Illinois Republican congressional delegation. (It nonetheless passed the House, 247-178.)

The 10th District voters delivered the following letter to Kirk's district office, which was signed by 120 of his constituents:

We are writing to you today to express our dismay at your two recent votes against ensuring pay equity for women in the workplace. Over eighty-five years after gaining the right to vote, women still face staggering wage discrimination in the workplace, making 77 cents to every dollar a man makes for the same work.

With the recent economic downturn, pay equity is more important than ever. Many of us live in two working parent homes or have daughters who do. At a time when our families are being squeezed and when every dollar matters, why do women not deserve the same rights as men at the workplace when we contribute to our households just the same?

So why, Representative Kirk, did you turn your back on the hundreds of thousands of women in your district by voting against our civil rights? While we may not yet have equality at the workplace, we do have equality in the ballot box and will be exercising that right come November.

Image courtesy of Hal Snyder.

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