National Partnership for Women & Families

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Portia Wu, Vice President

From the desk of ... Portia Wu

Time to Step Up!

July 21, 2010 | Workplace Fairness

Today the Obama Administration issued a rousing call to action on two of the most important priorities for working women and families — equal pay for equal work, and strong work-family policies.

The National Partnership has been championing these causes for decades — and so have you! Today's event showed that this Administration is squarely in our corner.

It was thrilling to be at this morning's Middle Class Task Force event. Announcements by one leader after another demonstrated that equal pay and work-family policies are high priorities for this Administration.

The President's Equal Pay Task Force is leading the way in ensuring our government steps up enforcement of — and education about — equal pay laws.

Vice President Biden called on the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, saying bluntly: "I say to all those, those few Democrats and all those Republicans who at least thus far have said no, or said nothing: This is your chance, and I mean this sincerely, to get on the right side of history…Step up, man. Step up and change the law."

Portia Wu & LIlly Ledbetter
Lilly Ledbetter & Portia Wu at the
Middle Class Task Force Event

Lilly Ledbetter stole the show. She was a victim of egregious wage discrimination who fought tirelessly — and successfully — to convince Congress to restore civil rights after an appalling Supreme Court decision… but she didn't stop there. Now Lilly is campaigning to make our equal pay laws stronger. She told the audience in plain English how wage discrimination hurts families every day by keeping them from buying clothes, putting food on the table, and paying for their children's education. It hurts women by shortchanging them while they're working and during their retirement.

I hope Members of Congress heard her message to strengthen our equal pay laws. To be sure that they hear from you too, tell your Senators to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

This morning's event also featured Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announcing a new, much-needed survey on access to and use of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) — something the National Partnership has fought hard for. She highlighted the Department's new guidance on FMLA leave.

The Administration is also building on the White House's March 2010 workplace flexibility forum to hold events over the next year on workplace flexibility and released a new toolkit to help community groups hold their own workplace flexibility events.

Stay tuned. We'll keep you posted so you can be part of this important national conversation. In the meantime, learn more about the White House's Work-Flex Starter Kit and to register an event.


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