MomsRising Leader Decries Supreme Court Decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, Calls for Passage of Paycheck Fairness Act
June 20, 2011
Statement of Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director, MomsRising, On the Supreme Court Ruling in Wal-Mart v. Dukes
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling in the Wal-Mart v. Dukes case is deeply disappointing, to the plaintiffs, their supporters – including those of us at MomsRising – and to women across the country who continue to experience job discrimination. Today’s ruling is likely to make it more difficult to bring discrimination suits against large corporations and plainly underscores the urgent need for strong fair pay laws like the Paycheck Fairness Act, currently under consideration by Congress.
We need laws that will require corporations, like Wal-Mart, to ensure that women and men are treated equally in hiring, firing, pay and promotions. That’s just common sense and fairness. It’s also what the Paycheck Fairness Act would do. This bill would strengthen penalties for equal pay violations, empower women to negotiate for fair pay, create stronger incentives for employers to follow the law and strengthen federal outreach, education and enforcement efforts.
We are gratified that Justice Ginsburg, and her colleagues, Justices Sotomayor, Kagan and Breyer believed that the plaintiffs presented ample evidence that Wal-Mart discriminated against its female employees. It’s hard to believe otherwise, when women represent 70 percent of the people with hourly jobs, but only a third of management employees.
Sadly, Wal-Mart is not alone in tolerating or even encouraging such disparities. Right now, in 2011, women still earn 23 cents less for every dollar earned by men, and mothers and women of color face an even larger wage gap. This is the time to mobilize and right this wrong. Around the country tomorrow, people of conscience will gather at rallies to protest the Supreme Court ruling and to urge Congress to move quickly to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. There is certainly no time like the present.”