Paycheck Fairness Act Passes House

Last week, the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1338) passed the House by a vote of 247-178. The measure, which would lift the cap on damages that can be awarded to women for wage discrimination cases and make it easier for women paid less than men for equal work to bring wage discrimination suits, was introduced back in March 2007 and didn't see activity until last month. The measure also would prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with their co-workers.

Employer groups have voiced their opposition to the bill, and the administration has indicated that if it were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto it.

Proponents of the measure argue that it would close the wage gap between men and women by strengthening and giving teeth to the Equal Pay Act. Opponents indicate that the bill would make enforcement of the anti-discrimination laws such as the Equal Pay Act more difficult and error-prone and invite a surge of litigation. The measure now goes to the Senate, where a similar bill was introduced.

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