A simple equation holds true for every U.S. worker: How much you earn during your working years determines how well off you will be in retirement.
For women, who live longer than men on average and so need more retirement income, the hard reality is that they still earn less than their male counterparts: Women, on average, earn only 77 cents for every $1 men get.
Washington has tackled this disparity before with limited success, but there's a bill in the U.S. Senate that could give women more tools to force bosses to abandon gender-pay discrimination for good. The House has already passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, and, as riven by partisan politics as the Senate is, there can be only one view of unequal pay for equal work for nearly half of all U.S. workers: It's time to crack down on employers who cheat female workers.
Congress first tackled this insidious pay disparity with the 1963 Equal Pay Act, which required employers to pay men and women with equal qualifications in similar jobs equal pay. Lilly Ledbetter can tell you how effective that was.
After working for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for 19 years, Ms. Ledbetter sued the company in 1998 for paying her less than men in equivalent jobs. She won, only to see the U.S. Supreme Court overturn her case because her claim was filed after the law's 180-day statutory charging period had long ended.
The court's pro-business decision brought nearly as much outrage as its recent ruling allowing corporations to make direct political contributions.
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