The Senate Republicans blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) yesterday, marking the second time this year and the fourth time since 2012 legislators voted along party lines against the equal pay legislation. Sixty votes were needed for the legislation to move forward for a vote in the House, but the Senate vote ended at 52-40.
“A woman who performs the same work as a man should be paid the same as a man. Senate Republicans simply cannot accept that notion,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told The Hill. “American women deserve better.”
The PFA would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by prohibiting retaliation against employees who reveal and discuss wages with co-workers, requiring employers to provide the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission pay data by sex, race and national origin of employees, facilitating the ability to file class actions in equal pay cases, and permitting prevailing plaintiffs – women or men- to receive not only compensatory or back pay but also punitive damages. Currently, plaintiffs in race or ethnicity wage discrimination cases can win punitive damages, but this is not so for plaintiffs taking gender equal pay cases to court.
“Too often, Republicans have rebuffed Democrats attempts to give American families a fair shot,” said Reid in a statement. “The Republicans must know their obstruction is hurting our country. The American people know the Republican status quo is not working.”
Take Action! Urge your Senator to support the Paycheck Fairness Act TODAY. (You can also call your Senator at 202-224-3121.)
Media Resources: The Hill 9/15/14; US Senator for Nevada Harry Reid Press Release 9/16/14; MSNBC 9/15/14; Feminist Newswire 4/9/14, 9/10/14; Feminist Majority 9/9/14; ThinkProgress 9/16/14
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