Friday, January 9, 2009

A Note From One of Our Illinois Allies

I thought I might post a note from one of our allies in the House. She is Jan Schakowsky, the 9th District, of Evanston. Please notice that her first letter is about the closing of Cavel from June 16, 2008. SCHAKOWSKY RESPONDS TO SUPREME COURT’S DECISION NOT TO HEAR APPEAL OF ILLINOIS HORSE SLAUGHTER BAN Washington, D.C.—U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) released the following statement today in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to hear Cavel International’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision to uphold the constitutionality of Illinois’ law to ban horse slaughter. The Cavel International Horse Slaughter plant located in Dekalb, Illinois was allowed to continue to operate during the first appeals process.
“Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a major victory for animal welfare advocates and horses. The decision finally puts a stop to Cavel’s endless appeals to challenge the constitutionality of the Illinois law. For over a year, Cavel manipulated the legal process in order to continue slaughtering horses even though the plant knew it would eventually have to comply with the law. Unfortunately, thousands of American horses were slaughtered while Cavel tied up this issue in the courts.
While the Supreme Court’s decision reinforces the right of states to ban horse slaughter, it also renews calls for a federal standard to eliminate the need for individual state bans and protracted legal battles. I hope that today’s decision will inspire Congress to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. My bipartisan bill would ban horse slaughter in the U.S. and prohibit the export of horses for slaughter abroad. I urge my colleagues in Congress to follow Illinois, California and Texas by passing my bill and getting it signed into law.”
U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky – 9th District, Illinois

E-Newsletter January 9, 2009


Dear Friend,

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to address pay discrimination against women. As the Democratic Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues, I was proud to speak in support of both of the bills on the House floor. The Democratic-led Congress under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi demonstrated its commitment toward ending gender discrimination by passing those bills during the first week of the 111th Congress.

The Paycheck Fairness Act will strengthen the Equal Pay Act and close the loopholes that have allowed employers to avoid responsibility for discriminatory pay. The act puts gender-based discrimination on equal footing with other forms of wage discrimination by allowing women to sue for compensatory and punitive damages. Under the act, an employer would have to show that the disparity is job-related and not sex-based. It also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who discuss or disclose salary information with their co-workers.

In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that Lilly Ledbetter waited too long to sue her employer for pay discrimination, despite the fact that the discrimination was ongoing and that she had filed a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as soon as she found out about the pay discrimination. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act restores the law as it was prior to the Supreme Court’s decision by clarifying that each paycheck resulting from a discriminatory pay decision would constitute a new violation of employment nondiscrimination law, and therefore, restart the clock for filing a claim.

Although the wage gap between men and women has narrowed since the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women still only make 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man and the wage gap is even worse for minority women. As a result of the wage gap, single women are twice as likely to be in poverty as single men and millions of women are unable to retire, especially during these tough economic times.

While more work needs to be done, I believe that those bills go a long way toward leveling the playing field between men and women in the workforce.


Chicago Office:5533 North Broadway, Suite 2Chicago, IL 60640Phone: (773) 506-7100Fax: (773) 506-9202
Evanston Office:820 Davis Street, Suite 105Evanston, IL 60201Phone: (847) 328-3409Fax: (847) 328-3425
Washington, DC Office:2367 Rayburn HOBWashington, DC 20515Phone: (202) 225-2111Fax: (202) 226-6890
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