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Vote Alert

NTU urges all Senators to vote “NO” on S. 2199, the “Paycheck Fairness Act.”

April 9, 2014

NTU urges all Senators to vote “NO” on S. 2199, the “Paycheck Fairness Act.” Contrary to its name, this legislation represents a heavy-handed and ineffective attempt to address sex-based discrimination.

S. 2199 is a disproportionate response to the issue.  While it is appropriate that women receive equal pay for equal work, the oft-repeated claim that women receive only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men, is a deceptive statistic. The so-called “wage gap” almost disappears entirely when education, major, career and life choices are taken into account. For women in the workplace who find that they are receiving unfair compensation compared to male counterparts, there are already safeguards available under the Equal Pay and Fair Labor Standards Acts.

Paradoxically, under the auspices of protecting women, the legislation could in fact do far more harm than good, for both men and women. The “effective remedies” section of S. 2199 would expose businesses to costly legal actions, including class action lawsuits with unlimited compensatory and punitive damages. Eliminating “business necessity” from the burden of proof would make it difficult for businesses to engage in a host of common workplace practices without fear of legal retribution. This would create a chilling effect on salary and hiring decisions by discouraging employers from rewarding employees for hard work and innovative practices, in turn creating a less flexible workplace. Far from being an asset to an employer, under S. 2199, women could be perceived as a legal liability, ultimately reducing employment opportunities.

As our economy continues to sputter and unemployment remains high, Senators’ time would be better spent getting people back to work rather than imposing increased barriers to full employment.

Roll call votes on S. 2199 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress and a “NO” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.

If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700