More updates on yesterday’s 26-17 vote by the House Education and Labor Committee to report out H.R. 1338, the Fair Pay Act, which seeks to mandate equal pay based on gender. If employers fail to meet the law’s standards, lawyers are standing by to sue, encouraged by the bill’s lifting of all caps on damages. Expect the bill on the House floor toward the middle of next week.
News release from Chairman George Miller (D-CA), ”House Labor Committee Passes Bill to Help Close Gender Wage Gap“: “This is a historic day in the fight for equal rights for women. If we are serious about closing the gender pay gap, we must get serious about punishing those who would otherwise scoff at the weak sanctions under current law,” said Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the committee. “Any wage gap based on gender is unacceptable, especially during these tough economic times. By allowing wage discrimination to continue, we hold down women and their families while harming the American economy as a whole.”
News release from Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), Ranking Member, “Democrats Favor Trial Lawyers Over Working Families“: “This bill isn’t about paycheck fairness. It’s already against federal law to discriminate, in pay or other employment practices, on the basis of sex. And rightfully so,” said Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), the senior Republican on the committee. “This bill is about making it easier for trial lawyers to cash in under the Equal Pay Act, and making it more difficult for employers to make legitimate employment decisions based on factors other than sex.”
Update from the Washington Labor & Employment Wire from Akin Gump, “Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1338) Passes Out of House Committee.
News release from the ACLU, “ACLU Supports the Paycheck Fairness Act“: “There should be no doubt that improvements to the Equal Pay Act are necessary,” said ACLU Washington Legislative Office Director Caroline Fredrickson. “More than four decades after the enactment of the Equal Pay Act, women still make only 77 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts, a wage disparity that cannot be explained by differences in qualifications, education, skills, training, responsibility or life choices. Rather, in many cases, the pay disparity has resulted from unlawful sex discrimination.”
Good thing for the ACLU that inflammatory falsehoods are constitutionally protected. All of the above assertions are demonstrably incorrect. We point you to the diligently documented testimony of the Hudson Institute’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth, an economist, as well as to her op-ed from the New York Sun, “Who’s the Better Feminist?”
Finally, from Secretary of Labor Chao’s letter to the committee: “H.R. 1338 would unjustifiably amend the Equal Pay Act (EPA) to allow for, among other things, unlimited compensatory and punitive damages, even when a disparity in pay was unintentional. It would also require the Department to replace its successful approach to detecting pay discrimination with a failed methodology that was abandoned because it had a 93 percent false positive rate. For these reasons and those outlined blow, if H.R 1338 were presented to the President, I would recommend that he veto the bill.”