A Setback For The Paycheck Fairness Act, But The Equal Pay Act Remains

Author:Mr Scott Inciardi
Profession:Foley & Lardner

The latest effort to pass the "Paycheck Fairness Act" has stalled in the U.S. Senate. The current version of the bill would make various changes to the portions of the Fair Labor Standards Act known as the Equal Pay Act. Currently, the Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying members of one sex a lower wage than members of the other sex for doing the same work. The Paycheck Fairness Act would, among other things, make it more difficult for employers to avoid liability for sex-based pay differentials, add prohibitions against retaliation for discussing or inquiring about wage rates, and increase penalties for violations. Democrats had previously tried and failed to pass a similar bill in 2010. (For additional information, see Legal News: Employment Law Update February 6, 2012 related to wage gap. On June 5, 2012, Senate Democrats sought to move the bill to debate, but the motion was defeated by a vote of 52 to 47. The defeat derailed the bill, at least for the time being, although its supporters have indicated they may try to push the bill forward again in the future.Although the Paycheck Fairness Act has been stopped for now, employers should remember that the Equal Pay Act remains in full force and effect. In fact, the day after the Senate vote, the federal Eighth Circuit...

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