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House Passes Paycheck Fairness Act

Washington—The House on March 27 passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill aimed at strengthening protections against sex-based pay discrimination. The 242-187 vote was mostly along party lines, with only seven Republicans voting for the bill. The bill would prohibit retaliation against workers who compare salaries and make it easier to file class-action suits. “After decades of failing to address persistent wage inequity, this is our opportunity to strengthen the Equal Pay Act, boast the rights of working women, lift families out of poverty, and finally align our remedies for gender discrimination with other established anti-discrimination laws,” House Education and Labor Committee Chair Bobby Scott (D-Va.) said during debate. But the committee’s ranking Republican, Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), dismissed the measure as “a bill for trial lawyers.” “Democrats want women to sue their bosses, Republicans want women to become the bosses,” she added. Women still make only 80% of what men do, responded Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio)—“less money than they have rightfully earned in every industry, no matter what they do, how high their level of education, or where they are from.” The bill is unlikely to advance in the Republican-controlled Senate. Read more

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