Although nobody really thought it had the slimmest chance of passage, employers can breathe a little easier now that the Senate has scuttled the Paycheck Fairness Act.
As we described in a recent post, Sen. Barabara Mikulski (D-MD) recently re-introduced the bill, advertised as a measure designed to strengthen provisions of the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which made it easier for employees to sue for pay discrimination on the basis of gender.
The proposal has continually drawn jeers from business groups and the Society for Human Resource Management, which recently urged its members to contact their congresspeople to vote the measure down.
SHRM said the measure would restrict employer flexibility in pay decisions, require increased collection of employer wage data and impinge on employee privacy rights.
A quiet death
In the end, the bill didn’t even come to a vote. Supporters couldn’t muster enough support to end a Senate Republican filibuster.
Many observers say the PFA never had a prayer of passage — and its Democratic sponsors didn’t care. The rejection of the bill gave Democrats more ammunition to use in the upcoming Presidential race.
“It’s showmanship,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY.) was quoted in a Wall Street Journal story. “When we have 8.2% unemployment, this is not the kind of leadership the country needs.”
The GOP’s been putting forward a few measures of its own designed to delineate the differences between the two parties. Included in that category are a bill designed to ban abortions performed because of the gender of the fetus, and a measure to repeal parts of the healthcare reform law.
Those bills don’t seem to have much of a chance, either.