Paycheck Fairness Act

We've been closely monitoring the activity (and, for several months, lack thereof) on the Paycheck Fairness Act. For those who may not be familiar with it, this bill was originally part of the [url=]Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act,[/url] but it was removed from the Lilly Ledbetter Bill to make the way smoother for that bill's passage.

The stand-alone version of the PFA was then introduced, and it passed in the House last January. The bill has since been on something of an on-again, off-again schedule in the Senate. The act has been touted by some as a "common sense bill" and the next step in alleviating gender-based wage disparities, by others as a direct threat to business that will have exactly the opposite effect, resulting in costly defensive measures for employers that will send wages lower for everyone.

What the act would [i]do[/i] is:

- allow employees to collect more damages for violations of the Equal Pay Act (punitive and compensatory, with no damage caps),
- make it easier for employees to be included in class-action suits (they'd have to opt-out rather than opt-in),
- require employers defending wage discrimination claims to actually show that there is a bona-fide reason for wage disparity and that there wasn't a reasonable alternative solution that wouldn't have resulted in the disparity, and
- prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who discuss wage information.

Obama and the DOL have been very vocal in lending their support to the bill. Of course, the bill has its share of equally vocal critics. Surprisingly, an editorial from the Washington Post yesterday also spoke out against the Act: [url][/url]

What say you all?

Is the PFA a "common sense" bill and a long-needed fix to the EPA? Is it another nail in the coffin of already struggling business, particularly small ones that may have a difficult time shouldering the legal challenges this bill might bring? Or is it just a piece of lip-service legislation that has everyone's feathers in a ruffle, but won't really affect much?


Sign In or Register to comment.