On June 22, 2007, Representative George Miller (D-Calif.) and 23 other House co-sponsors introduced H.R. 2831, the “Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007,The majority of workers may never know the salaries of our coworkers. It is far more likely that workers would not know they are being paid less than their colleagues for many months, if not years, after such discrimination has begun. Indeed, many employers instruct employees not to discuss their salaries at all, and such a discovery may only happen by accident. Critically, this legislation will ensure employers do not profit from years of discrimination simply because their employees were unaware of it.

H.R. 2831, which addresses wage disparity based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, and disability clarifies that such discrimination is not a one-time occurrence that starts and ends with the first paycheck, but that each paycheck represents ongoing discrimination by the employer. This bill reaffirms the fundamental principle that our civil rights protections are intended to have a broad remedial purpose – to addres and correct injuries suffered because of unlawful employment discrimination.

American workers should know they are protected from wage discrimination and able to challenge such discrimination no matter how long it takes them to discover it. The ACLU strongly supports such legislation and we urge Congress to vote in support of the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007.