Jane M. McFetridge, managing partner of Jackson Lewis LLP’s Chicago office, testifyied at the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing, “A Fair Share for All: Pay Equity in the New American Workplace.” From her prepared statement:
The Paycheck Fairness Act would preclude employers from making market-based pay determinations, encourage frivolous litigation, and expose companies to financial ruin by way of uncapped punitive damages and massive class action litigation. Rather than eliminating discrimination, the legislation, if passed, would provide a windfall to attorneys who litigate employment discrimination cases, but result in no meaningful change in the extant wage differential. Furthermore, the Paycheck Fairness Act would levy enormous cost on companies and employers already reeling from the worst economic crisis we have seen in most of our lives.
As public policy, the legislation would be harmful, she testified, but for law firms like Jackson Lewis, it would mean a lot of lucrative new work.
The hearing Thursday also provided a good reminder of how policymaking benefits from having elected officials with experience in the private sector. Both Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) drew on their backgrounds as former business owners to get beyond ideological talking points into a discussion of how litigation-inviting legislation would burden employers — the people who actually create jobs.
Here’s Enzi’s opening statement.
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