Lawsuit-inspiring Ledbetter, Paycheck Acts Up for Debate Thursday

House leadership has now set Thursday for the debate over the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, two priority pieces of legislation for core constituency groups of the Democratic Party — organized labor, trial lawyers and left-leaning women’s groups. Both bills passed the House in the last Congress, and we expect they’ll pass the House again.

Both bills were introduced anew yesterday:

H.R.11
Title: To amend title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and to modify the operation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to clarify that a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice that is unlawful under such Acts occurs each time compensation is paid pursuant to the discriminatory compensation decision or other practice, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Miller, George [CA-7] (introduced 1/6/2009)      Cosponsors (168)
Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
H.R.12
Title: To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep DeLauro, Rosa L. [CT-3] (introduced 1/6/2009)      Cosponsors (175)
Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

Stories…

And a good one in the Financial Post (Canada), “Battle looms over U.S. labour bills“:

The prospect of sizeable tax cuts in the Obama stimulus plan may have heartened U. S. business and Republicans alike, but a fierce battle is looming over radical changes to U. S. labour policy being vigorously pursued by the Democrats.

The fact that two Democrat-sponsored labour bills are set to be among the first legislation to hit the House floor as the 111th U. S. Congress begins this week is a clear signal the economic crisis has not derailed the new government’s pledge to advance labour’s cause.

The coverage highlights labor’s support for these bills but not the trial lawyer component we talk about here and here.  Yet consider H.R. 12, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would eliminate the current caps on punitive and compensatory damages in claims made under the Equal Pay Act, allowing huge legal claims against employers for even unintentional pay disparities? Cui bono?

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