Paycheck Fairness Act Fails to Move Forward in the U.S. Senate

June 5, 2012 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union is disappointed with today’s failure of the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 3220) to move forward in the Senate on a procedural vote of 52-47. Sixty votes were required for the Paycheck Fairness Act to move forward for debate on the merits of the bill itself.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would update and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to ensure that it provides effective protection against sex-based pay discrimination. This common-sense bill would bar retaliation against workers who ask about their employers’ pay practices or inquire about their own wages. It would allow women to receive the same remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subjected to discrimination based on race and ethnicity. The bill also would provide technical assistance to employers and important safeguards for small businesses.

“The majority of people across all political parties support pay equity, so it is particularly disheartening that a minority of Senators blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act from consideration today,” said Deborah J. Vagins, senior legislative counsel at the America Civil Liberties Union. “Women need concrete tools to help close the wage gap, which continues to deprive them and their families of substantial income over their careers. In today’s economy, the Paycheck Fairness Act is absolutely essential to help all workers bring home every dollar they rightfully earn.”

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