Senate Fails to Advance Paycheck Fairness Act

September 15, 2014 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – In a procedural move, the Senate today blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act from advancing to an up or down vote on final passage. The Paycheck Fairness Act would help end wage discrimination in the workplace. This is the second time this year the Senate has declined to vote on the bill.

“The Senate’s continued failure to give the Paycheck Fairness Act an up or down vote lets down millions of American workers,” said Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU senior legislative counsel and co-chair of the National Paycheck Fairness Act Coalition. “Pay equity is not a partisan issue, and paying women what they have already rightfully earned is good for them, for the nation’s economy, and for American businesses’ bottom lines. The fact that the Senate finally allowed debate on equal pay is a step in the right direction, but women workers need more than words when the next Congress takes up the Paycheck Fairness Act.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and 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 includes safeguards for small businesses.

Earlier this year, President Obama signed an executive order banning retaliation against employees of federal contractors for disclosing or inquiring about their wages. He also signed a Presidential Memorandum instructing the Department of Labor to establish new regulations requiring federal contractors to submit data on compensation paid to employees.

To learn more about the ACLU’s work on the Paycheck Fairness Act, visit

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