11/19/2010

Women Are the Winners in Defeat of Paycheck Fairness Act

Although the media are already spinning this as the eevil Republicans being anti-woman, the defeat of  the mislabeled "Paycheck Fairness Act" Under the act, "companies will have far less flexibility in addressing different salary histories for new hires, different salary demands from existing employees, the size of pay raises for people promoted into new roles, and so on."  This bill would place onerous new regulations on businesses.  It also doesn't take into account pay disparities due to time on the job, performance, etc.  It does not take into account productivity, drive, and other intangible attributes which undoubtedly play a roll in employee compensation. It would also allow trial lawyers to be able to comb through every employer’s books searching for instances of pay disparity.  This bill is nothing but a boon to the trial lawyers,  an unnecessary burden on business, and a huge blow to women both in the workforce, and those looking to enter the workforce. Women and business just dodged a bullet.  - Brian

Fairness Act is a Win for Women

By Julie Borowski on Nov 19, 2010

On Wednesday, the so-called Paycheck Fairness Act failed cloture vote in the Senate by just two votes. We applaud those lawmakers that blocked this misguided bill that would greatly expand the role of government in employer and workers’ compensation decisions.

But the fight may not be over yet. Two years ago, the misnamed bill passed the House by a fairly wide margin. President Obama has claimed that passing the “common-sense bill” that will supposedly ensure “equal pay” for women is his priority. We could potentially see the bill arise again in the current Lame Duck Session.

Under the guise of protecting against sexism, the bill is a job killer that will ultimately hurt working women. It amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to require employers to submit their pay records classified by sex, race and national origin to the federal government.

As the Wall Street Journal correctly notes, this would be a “boon for trial lawyers.” To be sure, trial lawyers would vigilantly scan through every record searching for any instances of pay disparity. It would become much easier for any person to file a class-action lawsuit with punitive damages against employers accused of pay discrimination.

If passed, the bill would do more harm than good for working women. Due to the fear of costly and frivolous lawsuits, employers may think twice before hiring a qualified woman. As Independent Women’s Forum policy analyst Romina Boccia states, 

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