The US Senate is scheduled to hold a procedural cloture vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act today, a bill that seeks to tighten equal pay protections. Under the proposed law, employers would be required to demonstrate that salary differences between men and women who do the same work are not due to gender. Employers would also be barred from retaliating against employees who share paycheck information with coworkers.
President Barack Obama supports the bill and has urged the Senate to pass it. Dropping in on a press call yesterday, the President said, “Tomorrow, Congress is going to have a chance to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act. I don’t have to tell you how much this matters to families across the country. All of you are working day in, day out, to support the basic principle, equal pay for equal work.” The bill’s chief sponsor, Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), told reporters that as the wage gap persists, “American women are mad as hell” and want the Paycheck Fairness Act passed.
The bill requires 60 votes in order to pass during the cloture vote. The bill was last brought to a vote two years ago, but it received only 58 of the 60 necessary votes. On yesterday’s call, President Obama urged a different outcome, saying, “Congress has to step up and do its job.”
MSNBC 6/5/12; Reuters 6/4/12; Huffington Post 6/4/12; ABC News 6/4/12