Voters sent a message to policymakers in the mid-term elections that they expect Congress to focus on jobs. One of the first bills that the Senate will be considering since the elections, the Paycheck Fairness Act, does indeed focus on jobs — — but negatively. The legislation will make it more difficult for employers to create and retain jobs. Were the supporters not paying attention on Nov. 2?
The National Association of Manufacturers continues to highlight the flaws of this harmful proposal, sending our “Key Vote” letter to Senate offices this morning. We’re urging all Senators to oppose the legislation because it promotes uncertainty in pay practices and exposes employers to costly litigation, both of which have a chilling effect on job creation.
American workers are already effectively protected from discrimination through remedies available under existing law. The Equal Pay Act protects men and women from pay disparities in jobs that require equal skill, effort and responsibility and are performed under similar working conditions.
Another major objection is to the legislation’s invitation to more lawsuits against employers. As the NAM letter argued:
By removing all limits to punitive and compensatory damage awards on claims made under the Equal Pay Act, S. 3772 would expose employers to increased threats of litigation – even when unintentional pay disparities may have occurred. Its passage would likely prompt many employers to purchase additional legal liability insurance, increasing their costs and decreasing their ability to raise wages, increase benefits or hire new workers. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which the bill would not lead to lower wages and fewer jobs.
Senators should not grant trial lawyers new incentives for filing suits against employers, should not burden employers with new and unnecessary mandates, and they should acknowledge the will of the electorate by voting no on cloture for S. 3772, the Paycheck Fairness Act.