Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) re-introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act, which addresses the wage gap between men and women, in the Senate on Wednesday.
The bill, S. 84 seeks to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and require employers to prove that differences in wage are the result of differences in merit, not gender. It also prohibits retaliation against employees who file claims of wage discrimination, and allows victims of wage discrimination to seek punitive damages for lost wages.
In a press release, Senator Mikulski said “The Paycheck Fairness Act ensures that women will no longer be fighting on their own for equal pay for equal work.” Senator DeLauro echoed Mikulski’s sentiment by saying “The Paycheck Fairness Act will help the Equal Pay Act fulfill its intended objective, offer real protections to ensure equal pay for equal work, and see that women are paid the same as the other half of our nation’s workforce for the same job.”
The Paycheck Fairness Act was first introduced in 2009 but failed to get the necessary 60 votes to pass in the Senate. Last year, the act was filibustered by Senate Republicans in June.