S. 182 Archives - Shopfloor

How Do Wage Dictates, Lawsuits Foster Business Certainty?

By | Briefly Legal, Human Resources | 2 Comments

President Obama released a statement calling for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, giving a publicity boost to a panel that plans to release a report today, the Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force. The President said:

We cannot do this work alone. So today, I thank the House for its work on this issue and encourage the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, a common-sense bill that will help ensure that men and women who do equal work receive the equal pay that they and their families deserve. Passing this bill is one of the Task Force’s key recommendations, and I hope Congress will act swiftly so that I can sign it into law.

The message that many business owners will hear from the President is not “common-sense” and “fairness” but rather, “Get ready for more government rules to micromanage your business, along with an increased risk of lawsuits, no matter how honestly and fairly you treat your employees. The more jobs you create, the more the risk!”

Now, please invest and help our economy grow.

The National Association of Manufacturers has prepared a ManuFact, that is, a summary sheet of the legislation, H.R. 12 and S. 182. It states:

Manufacturers strongly support equal employment opportunities for American workers and oppose any form of unlawful discrimination.  Remedies available under existing law prohibit discrimination to protect
men and women working under similar conditions from pay disparities in jobs that require equal skill, effort and responsibility. 

The proposed Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 12, S. 182) would alter the existing Equal Pay Act to allow unprecedented penalties of unlimited punitive and compensatory damages in cases of suspected discrimination. This exposes manufacturers of all sizes to increased litigation and a spate of frivolous class-action suits even when they act with a reasonable belief that their pay policies are lawful.

Under this legislation, equal pay class-action suits would change significantly from a system of “opt-in” to “opt-out.”  This provision would encourage frivolous class-action suits. Read More

Increasing Litigation Costs Doesn’t Sound Too ‘Fair’

By | Briefly Legal, Human Resources | No Comments

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has started its hearing, “A Fair Share for All: Pay Equity in the New American Workplace.” The hearing represents the return of Congressional attention to the Paycheck Fairness Act, in this case, S.182, to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) known as the Equal Pay Act to increase liability and penalties for gender-based wage discrimination. The bill:

  • Makes employers who violate sex discrimination prohibitions liable in a civil action for either compensatory or (except for the federal government) punitive damages.
  • States that any action brought to enforce the prohibition against sex discrimination may be maintained as a class action in which individuals may be joined as party plaintiffs without their written consent.
  • Authorizes the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) to seek additional compensatory or punitive damages in a sex discrimination action.

Well, that’s fair, the lawyer remarked.

Our man Keith Smith is at the hearing and will be Tweeting developments @Shopfloor_NAM. We just know he’ll be fair.