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April 11, 2016 0

Time to Require Equal Pay for Equal Work

Diverse Business Team Discussing Work In Office

It’s April 12, 2016 – Equal Pay Day, the sym­bolic date that women need to work until to catch up with what men had earned by last Dec. 31.  The fact is that women who work full time, are paid an aver­age of 79 cents for every dol­lar paid to men — and on aver­age, African Amer­i­can and Latina women are paid even less.   It’s not a day to cel­e­brate, but it is a teach­able moment to focus on the need­less, costly, and dis­crim­i­na­tory gen­der wage gap – and on what we can do about it.

One high-profile exam­ple of unequal pay is that mem­bers of the U.S. Women’s Soc­cer team, the best team in the world, are paid less than their US male team coun­ter­parts.  Five mem­bers of the team recently brought a wage dis­crim­i­na­tion suit against U.S. Soc­cer with the Equal Employ­ment Oppor­tu­nity Com­mis­sion (EEOC).

Progress in Recent Years

  • In August 2014, Pres­i­dent Obama signed two direc­tives aimed at clos­ing the wage gap for Fed­eral work­ers.   First, an Exec­u­tive Order pro­hibiting fed­eral con­trac­tors from retal­i­at­ing against employ­ees for shar­ing their salary infor­ma­tion, mak­ing it eas­ier for women to dis­cover and address pay­check inequity. And, sec­ond, the Pres­i­dent instructed the Depart­ment of Labor to cre­ate new reg­u­la­tions requir­ing fed­eral con­trac­tors and sub­con­trac­tors to report salary infor­ma­tion to the gov­ern­ment, expos­ing salary inequities and thereby encour­ag­ing con­trac­tors to close the wage gap on their own.
  • And in Jan­u­ary, the EEOC issued com­ple­men­tary “Pro­posed Enforce­ment Guid­ance on Retal­i­a­tion and Related Issues.” ADL joined two dozen other national orga­ni­za­tions on a let­ter, drafted by the National Women’s Law Cen­ter, sup­port­ing the pro­posal and sug­gest­ing way to clar­ify the pro­tec­tions and safe­guards even further.

 

Learn, Raise Aware­ness – and Pro­mote Fairness.

On this Equal Pay Day, let’s com­mit to spread­ing the word about the dis­crim­i­na­tory pay gap between men and women – so we can close it.   Here are two great ways to get the word out:   MTV Pay Equity

  • MTV’s Emmy Award-winning “Look Dif­fer­ent” anti-bias cam­paign has cre­ated the “79% Work Clock” — a clock that chimes every day at 3:20 p.m. – sig­ni­fy­ing 79% of the 9–5 work­day, or the time, after which, women are no longer paid for equal work.  Their web­site includes a 79-Percent Cal­cu­la­tor to help indi­vid­u­als find the cor­rect time set­ting for their per­sonal work clocks based on their work hours and race — and to learn more about the gen­der wage gap in America.
  • The Anti-Defamation League recently devel­oped a High School les­son plan on the gen­der wage gap that pro­vides an oppor­tu­nity for stu­dents to reflect on their own opin­ions about sex­ism, under­stand the gen­der pay gap and its var­i­ous man­i­fes­ta­tions, and con­sider ways that it can be overcome.

Although we’ve made some progress in the fight for equal pay, much more needs to be done.  ADL and a broad coali­tion of civil rights and women’s groups sup­port The Pay­check Fair­ness Act (PFA HR 1619/S 862)), which would give teeth to the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it unlaw­ful for busi­nesses to pay men and women dif­fer­ent salaries for per­form­ing sub­stan­tially the same work. The PFA would make it ille­gal for com­pa­nies to retal­i­ate against employ­ees for dis­cussing salary dif­fer­ences and open­ busi­nesses up to civil lia­bil­ity for salary inequity.

By rais­ing aware­ness and demand­ing leg­isla­tive action, we can speed the day when the alarm clock rep­re­sent­ing the wage gap rings later and later in the day – until we will not need it at all.

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January 11, 2016 3

Five Things We Hope to Hear in the President’s State of the Union Speech

By Jonathan Green­blatt
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League

This arti­cle orig­i­nally appeared on The Huff­in­g­ton Post Blog

Pres­i­dent Obama has said that his final State of the Union address on Tues­day, Jan. 12 will be framed around “the big things” he sees as being pri­or­i­ties in the years to come, rather than tak­ing a policy-centric approach to the speech.  He has said that there is more work that needs to be done, and we agree.

In the run-up to the president’s address, we at the Anti-Defamation League asked mem­bers of our staff and some of our offices across the coun­try for some insights on which issues deserve pri­or­ity treat­ment dur­ing the president’s address. Our com­pleted list fol­lows.  ADL’s pri­or­i­ties for the pres­i­dent include: 1) Fight­ing prej­u­dice and dis­crim­i­na­tion 2) wel­com­ing asy­lum seek­ers and refugees while pro­tect­ing national secu­rity 3) safe­guard­ing reli­gious free­dom 4) Rein­forc­ing a com­mit­ment to Iran sanc­tions, and 5) Sup­port­ing a strength­ened Israel-U.S. relationship.

One caveat:  I should note that while we have num­bered these, they are each sep­a­rate and dis­tinct issues and not ordered by impor­tance. We believe each of these issues deserves pri­or­ity treat­ment by the admin­is­tra­tion at this unique time in Amer­i­can his­tory when we are faced with myr­iad chal­lenges and opportunities.

Let’s hope the pres­i­dent takes on some of these issues as he heads into his final year in office.

Fight­ing Prej­u­dice, Extrem­ism and Dis­crim­i­na­tion  

Last week’s reaf­fir­ma­tion of fed­eral edu­ca­tion anti-discrimination laws,   com­ing at a time of esca­lat­ing prej­u­dice and vio­lence against spe­cific pop­u­la­tions–  refugees, immi­grants, and the Mus­lim com­mu­nity –  was a needed, wel­come reminder for schools.  The Depart­ment of Jus­tice also has used its author­ity under the 2009 Matthew Shep­ard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Pre­ven­tion Act of 2009 very effec­tively, but much more train­ing and out­reach for local police is needed. A 21st cen­tury polic­ing model should include incen­tives for depart­ments   to ensure they are report­ing cred­i­ble hate crime data to the FBI.  Crim­i­nal jus­tice reform, includ­ing leg­is­la­tion now mov­ing through Con­gress, must pro­mote ini­tia­tives to inter­rupt the school to prison pipeline and efforts to build police-community rela­tions.  And the Pres­i­dent should use SOTU to fur­ther explain his new gun vio­lence pre­ven­tion ini­tia­tives, which were announced the same day ADL released a new report doc­u­ment­ing that 2015 was the dead­liest year for domes­tic extrem­ist vio­lence in the past 20 years, with firearms, over­whelm­ingly, the  extrem­ist weapon of choice in 2015 – as in vir­tu­ally every year.  Finally, we hope the Pres­i­dent will press for essen­tial leg­is­la­tion to restore cru­cial vot­ing rights pro­tec­tions elim­i­nated by the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby County v. Holder deci­sion.  If Con­gress fails to act, the Novem­ber elec­tions will be the first Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in 50 years with­out the robust pro­tec­tions of the Vot­ing Rights Act.

Wel­com­ing Asylum-Seekers and Refugees AND Pro­tect­ing National Security

Some Mem­bers of Con­gress have recently called for block­ing Pres­i­dent Obama’s plan to reset­tle up to 10,000 Syr­ian refugees. This is unfor­tu­nate on so many lev­els and incon­sis­tent with our prin­ci­ples as a coun­try whose ori­gins and evo­lu­tion are so bound up with gen­er­a­tions of immi­grants and refugees. The SOTU is an oppor­tu­nity for the Pres­i­dent to urge Con­gress to oppose efforts to halt U.S. refugee reset­tle­ment or to restrict fund­ing for refugees, includ­ing Syr­ian refugees. We hope that the Pres­i­dent will reit­er­ate that Amer­ica can keep its bor­ders safe and, at the same time, wel­come refugees that are flee­ing the bru­tal­ity of ISIS. The Amer­i­can screen­ing process for refugees works – it is the sin­gle most dif­fi­cult way to enter the United States.  Amer­ica must not turn its back on its fun­da­men­tal com­mit­ment to refugee protections.

As thou­sands of men, woman, and chil­dren have fled hor­rific real­i­ties of bru­tal vio­lence and extreme poverty and hunger in El Sal­vador, Guatemala, Hon­duras, and Mex­ico, we also have seri­ous con­cerns about the Administration’s recent cam­paign of home raids to round up and deport these fam­i­lies and adult asylum-seekers. We hope to hear Pres­i­dent Obama speak out and direct the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­rity to stop these raids and depor­ta­tions.  More­over, chil­dren and fam­i­lies flee­ing for their lives must be pro­tected and have access to legal coun­sel so that they can apply for asy­lum and pro­tec­tion in the United States.

 The Pres­i­dent should also use the SOTU to encour­age Con­gress to recom­mit to advanc­ing com­pre­hen­sive immi­gra­tion reform that pro­vides for a path­way to cit­i­zen­ship for immi­grants, sound bor­der secu­rity, safe­guards against bias and dis­crim­i­na­tion, and fam­ily reunification.

 Pro­tect­ing Reli­gious Free­dom, LGBT Equal­ity and Repro­duc­tive Rights 

The Pres­i­dent should com­mit to con­tin­u­ing his administration’s sup­port for vig­or­ous reli­gious free­dom advo­cacy on the fed­eral, state and local lev­els, includ­ing oppos­ing orga­nized prayer.  At the same time, the admin­is­tra­tion should con­tinue to demon­strate lead­er­ship on issues of impor­tance to the LGBT com­mu­nity – which have resulted in pos­i­tive, sys­temic changes in pro­tec­tions and equal rights for LGBT peo­ple – by mak­ing it clear that mea­sures couched as sup­port­ing reli­gious free­dom that per­mit busi­nesses to evade anti-discrimination laws and refuse ser­vice to peo­ple based on their sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion or gen­der iden­tity are not accept­able.  On the issue of repro­duc­tive rights, we under­stand that all eyes will be on the United States Supreme Court this year as it con­sid­ers restric­tions on Texas women’s clin­ics that we think are unnec­es­sary and uncon­sti­tu­tional, but we hope the Pres­i­dent will under­score his oppo­si­tion to the Texas leg­is­la­tion and other sim­i­lar initiatives.

 

Rein­forc­ing America’s Com­mit­ment to Enforce­ment of Iran Sanc­tions 

Iran con­tin­ues to take actions pro­mot­ing poli­cies and human right vio­la­tions that pro­foundly con­flict with core Amer­i­can val­ues.  As we move closer to “imple­men­ta­tion day,” when the IAEA would cer­tify that Iran has met the require­ments under the nuclear agree­ment to lift inter­na­tional sanc­tions, Iran’s ongo­ing human rights vio­la­tions and its exter­nal aggres­sions must be taken into account when con­sid­er­ing the prospect of nor­mal­ized rela­tions. The United States can­not look away from the insti­tu­tion­al­ized dis­crim­i­na­tion fac­ing eth­nic and reli­gious minori­ties in Iran, includ­ing Baha’is, Chris­tians, Jews, and Sunni Arabs. Their treat­ment ranges from quiet intim­i­da­tion to sys­tem­atic impris­on­ment. LGBT cit­i­zens fare far worse. The Iran­ian regime con­tin­ues its decades-long sup­port of ter­ror­ism against Israel and other coun­tries, and rou­tinely pro­motes fan­tas­ti­cal anti-Israel and anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries, includ­ing mock­ing the Holo­caust and accus­ing Israel of cre­at­ing ISIS. It also has lent finan­cial and mil­i­tary sup­port to the mur­der­ous cam­paign of the Syr­ian government.

The U.S. should be vig­i­lant in using exist­ing sanc­tions tar­get­ing these prac­tices and explore new tools that might be needed to tar­get both human rights vio­la­tions and JCPOA violations.

We hope the Pres­i­dent will send a strong mes­sage Tues­day night to Tehran that there will be con­se­quences to test­ing both the bound­aries of the nuclear agree­ment and con­tin­u­ing its nefar­i­ous behav­ior in the region, and repres­sive poli­cies toward its own people.

 Sup­port­ing a Renewed U.S.-Israel Relationship

Con­gress and the Admin­is­tra­tion rec­og­nize the unique secu­rity threats and chal­lenges fac­ing Israel and the Pres­i­dent should reaf­firm the unshake­able U.S. com­mit­ment to Israel and its secu­rity in the SOTU. Nego­ti­a­tions between the U.S. and Israel are under­way for a new Mem­o­ran­dum of Under­stand­ing (MOU) to ensure Israel is able to main­tain its qual­i­ta­tive mil­i­tary edge over its adver­saries. The cur­rent MOU pro­vides $30 bil­lion in assis­tance to Israel over a 10-year period and is set to expire in 2017.

 As he enters his last full year in office, Pres­i­dent Obama clearly has a full plate.  He also has the oppor­tu­nity to work with Con­gress to insti­tu­tion­al­ize changes, alter­ing the land­scape – domes­ti­cally and inter­na­tion­ally – in ways that will endure well beyond his pres­i­dency.  We and the nation will be pay­ing close attention.

Fol­low us live @ADL_National dur­ing the State of the Union Tues­day night at 9 PM EST for our take on the speech.

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November 7, 2015 1

Getting the U.S.-Israel Relationship Back on Track

By Jonathan Green­blatt
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League

This arti­cle orig­i­nally appeared on The Huff­in­g­ton Post Blog

As Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu arrives this week­end in the U.S. and pre­pares to meet Pres­i­dent Obama next week, there is an oppor­tu­nity for the two coun­tries to reboot rela­tions head­ing into the final stretch of the Obama Administration.

Some believe this will be chal­leng­ing. Many have writ­ten about the per­son­al­ity clash between the two lead­ers. But I think the impact has been exag­ger­ated. How­ever, there cer­tainly have been sig­nif­i­cant pol­icy dif­fer­ences between them over the past sev­eral years.

This was par­tic­u­larly obvi­ous dur­ing the debate around the so-called Iran deal. In that frac­tious exchange, there were tough words exchanged all around. At times, com­pet­ing claims degen­er­ated into slan­der­ous attacks. But both sides should now take a deep breath.

Even deal oppo­nents should rec­og­nize that Pres­i­dent Obama chose a path that he and many experts believed to be sen­si­ble. Based on the analy­sis of experts, the admin­is­tra­tion felt that the Joint Com­pre­hen­sive Plan of Action served not only the U.S. national inter­est but also the inter­ests of our allies in the region, includ­ing Israel. The Anti-Defamation League did not agree with this assess­ment, but many experts and orga­ni­za­tions did.

When he adopted this posi­tion, some fool­ishly labeled the pres­i­dent and his aides as anti-Semitic, a ground­less charge that seems espe­cially weak after a cur­sory review of the facts. Pres­i­dent Obama and his team have con­sis­tently renewed mil­i­tary sup­port for the Jew­ish state and pro­vided diplo­matic sup­port for Israel at the United Nations and in other fora. More­over, not only has the pres­i­dent pro­vided moral sup­port to Israel by link­ing the quest for Jew­ish sov­er­eignty to the Amer­i­can civil rights move­ment, but he has joined U.K. Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron and Pope Fran­cis as world lead­ers who appro­pri­ately have ques­tioned the true moti­va­tions of those who reject Israel’s legit­i­macy as a Jew­ish state.

By the same token, deal sup­port­ers should acknowl­edge that Prime Min­is­ter Netanyahu and the Israeli gov­ern­ment took a strong stance against the deal, not out of a desire to be oppo­si­tional to Pres­i­dent Obama or because of a polit­i­cal agenda. Rather, the Israeli posi­tion was derived from a strongly held view grounded in facts that a mil­i­ta­rized and nor­mal­ized Islamic Repub­lic is an exis­ten­tial threat to Israel. Crit­ics who deny this fact seem dan­ger­ously out of touch with reality.

Indeed, since the deal was signed, the Islamic Repub­lic has explic­itly repeated its refusal to accept Israel as a legit­i­mate mem­ber of the fam­ily of nations. Iran­ian prox­ies con­tinue to pur­sue ter­ror­ism against the Jew­ish state. The hos­til­ity and mil­i­tarism of the regime has not ebbed in any per­cep­ti­ble man­ner. And, if we take the Iran­ian lead­er­ship at their word, includ­ing recent state­ments by Supreme Leader Aya­tol­lah Ali Khamenei, it would appear that Israeli con­cerns are well-founded.

Fur­ther com­pound­ing legit­i­mate pol­icy dif­fer­ences, indi­vid­u­als on both sides occa­sion­ally have resorted to ad home­nim attacks, whether indi­vid­u­als in Jerusalemderid­ing Pres­i­dent Obama as anti-Semitic or unnamed offi­cials in the admin­is­tra­tion dis­parag­ing Prime Min­is­ter Netanyahu as “chicken-s—.” In both cases, offi­cials dimin­ished them­selves and their nations with such crass slander.

Look­ing ahead to the upcom­ing visit, both sides have an oppor­tu­nity to move past the acri­mony and acknowl­edge that the two coun­tries have far more in com­mon than the issues that divide them.

For the U.S., Israel remains a robust democ­racy and a bedrock island of sta­bil­ity in a region that seems less sta­ble by the hour. Israel’s com­mit­ment to the rule of law, basic free­doms and human decency dis­tin­guishes it from every other coun­try and non-state actor in the Mid­dle East. And the Jew­ish state is a hub of inno­va­tion whose tech­no­log­i­cal achieve­ments power our prod­ucts, whose ground­break­ing research sup­ports agri­cul­ture and man­u­fac­tur­ing, and whose sci­en­tific advance­ments enable med­i­cine and uplift human­ity. And the Amer­i­can peo­ple at a grass­roots level empir­i­cally sup­port the Jew­ish state.

For Israel, the U.S, remains its most impor­tant ally. Amer­ica has been unflinch­ing in its sup­port for Israel in inter­na­tional cir­cles and mul­ti­lat­eral fora that all too often ostra­cize the Jew­ish state. The U.S. has been a cru­cial source of mil­i­tary assis­tance but also an extra­or­di­nary reser­voir of eco­nomic sup­port and com­mer­cial invest­ment at a time when the can­cer of “Boy­cotts, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions” con­tin­ues to grow. And America’s bedrock com­mit­ment to a fair and just res­o­lu­tion of the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict, one that guar­an­tees Israel’s legit­i­mate secu­rity inter­ests, remains cru­cial to the long-term prospects for peace in the region.

And, as incite­ment per­sists and vio­lence con­tin­ues to flare, both the U.S. and Israel still share a fun­da­men­tal inter­est in see­ing an even­tual end to the con­flict through a two-state solu­tion. To get the process back on track, pre­lim­i­nary steps will be required, includ­ing a ces­sa­tion of vio­lence on the Pales­tin­ian side and the reestab­lish­ment of trust among both par­ties. Nonethe­less, the U.S. and Israel share an inter­est in facil­i­tat­ing this out­come and achiev­ing a just and last­ing peace for all parties.

Amer­ica and Israel have far more in com­mon than the crit­ics care to men­tion. Next week — when the lead­ers shake hands — it will be an oppor­tu­nity to remind the world of the shared inter­ests that bind the two nations.

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