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House Passes Paycheck Fairness Act

April 11th, 2019 Victoria Breese

The U.S. House just passed a bill entitled “The Paycheck Fairness Act,” voting 242-187. Those who voted for the bill seek to promote gender pay equality. Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut first introduced the bill all the way back in 1997. This is the 11th time DeLauro has brought up this bill. When asked about the bill, DeLauro said: “Very simple concept: Men and women in the same job deserve the same pay . . . It used to be this was the fringe; it was a women’s issue, ‘Why do we have to deal with it?’”

History and Content of the Paycheck Fairness Act

The House first passed the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2009, the last time Democrats had a majority in the House until now. However, once the bill arrived in the Senate in 2010, it failed. DeLauro argues that her pay equity bill should be bipartisan, but the bill has lost momentum when Republicans have had a majority in the house and senate. The Paycheck Fairness Act seeks to supplement the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which legally required men and women to earn equal pay for equal work. The Paycheck Fairness Act has several proposals in addition to the legislation under the Equal Pay Act. This new bill would outlaw employers from asking job candidates how much their previous salary was in other positions. Additionally, it would ban rules that keep workers from discussing their salaries with coworkers. Finally, the bill would require employers to increase salary transparency.

Criticisms and Challenges of the Paycheck Fairness Act

The Paycheck Fairness Act has gotten significant pushback from business who wish to keep salary data private. Another criticism of the bill is that it does not address motherhood, which many claim is the root cause of the gender pay gap. Some argue that the gender pay gap has far more to do with women taking off more time at work to care for children rather than outright sexism. This is only the second time this bill has passed the House, and it must also pass the Senate in order to take another step closer to becoming a law. House Democrats think that now is the right time to push this bill forward, especially in the wake of the #MeToo movement and midterm elections that appointed several new congresswomen. However, with a Republican majority in the Senate, it’s unclear whether the bill will continue to be successful.

Seek Legal Assistance Today

If you have experienced pay discrimination in the workplace, seek legal assistance today. The Working Solutions Law Firm, located in New York City, can assist you. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel.