Monday, August 26, 2013

Wyoming Has The Worst Gender Wage Gap in America

Sorry, Wyoming. You have the worst gender wage gap in America. Our state ranks dead last in the nation for the gap between the wages of men and women whether calculated by year round work or measured by hourly or weekly wages. Nationally, women working full-time make on average 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. In Wyoming, women earned only 67 cents
for every dollar earned by men.

To honor the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project has joined a coalition of national and state-based women’s rights organizations for the Equal Pay Today! Campaign which calls for an end to the gender wage gap that exists in nearly every industry and profession in the country. They are joining together to call for action to end the practices and close the loopholes in existing laws that contribute to shocking wage gap. These practices include: 

·         Less pay for the same job: Women are paid less than men in nearly every occupation.
·         Job segregation: Sex role stereotypes lead to women being segregated into female-dominated lower-paid jobs.
·         Retaliation against workers for discussing their pay: A majority of employees report that they are either prohibited or actively discouraged from discussing their pay.
·         Pay reductions due to pregnancy and caregiving responsibilities. Employers pay women less from the moment of hire and deny them promotions because they automatically presume women will have children and then will commit less time and dedication to their jobs.
·         Wage theft: Women in many industries are being paid less than the minimum wage and less than a living wage, being shorted hours, being forced to work off the clock, not being paid overtime, or not being paid at all. 
The Equal Pay Today! Campaign sent letters to Governor Mead encouraging him to provide leadership in Wyoming to close our state’s wage gap. Read the June 10 and August 20 letters submitted to Gov. Mead.

We hope that one day there will be equal pay in the Equality State. TAKE ACTION and tell Gov. Mead you support equal pay for equal work.

Learn more about the Equal Pay Today! Campaign here.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The NSA Unchained

Contrary to what defenders of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs would have us believe, the communications of each and every one of us are clearly vulnerable to government spying.

As we have learned from recent media disclosures, under the Patriot Act, the government has been secretly tracking the calls of customers of major telecommunications companies for years. And under the unconstitutional FISA Amendments Act, the NSA obtains the contents of online communications from many of the Internet companies we have come to rely on for our basic, day-to-day interactions, like Google and Facebook. The government can access much of this incredibly sensitive data about people – including the contents of Americans’ communications with people overseas – whom it does not suspect of any wrongdoing, and without any meaningful judicial oversight. As an advocate for the constitutional right to privacy from government intrusion, this is cause for major concern. 
The more we learn about these programs, the more it becomes clear that the surveillance state is upon us. But we have the power to stop it. Congress must rein in government spying by fixing the Patriot Act and FISA and providing a full public accounting of the NSA’s data collection program. 
In the wake of the recent revelations about the NSA's unprecedented mass surveillance of phone calls, the ACLU filed a lawsuit charging that the program violates Americans' constitutional rights of free speech, association, and privacy. Learn more about the ACLU’s effort to stop the NSA.