National Taxpayers Union urges all Representatives to vote “NO” on H.R. 7, the “Paycheck Fairness Act.” Though well intentioned, this legislation represents a heavy-handed and ineffective attempt to address sex-based discrimination. At its core, H.R. 7 would expand the federal bureaucracy, expose job creators to frivolous lawsuits, and impose higher regulatory burdens on small business owners.
H.R. 7 is a disproportionate response to instances of wage discrimination. The draconian “enhanced enforcement” provisions of H.R. 7 would place the burden of proof on employers to justify their business decisions within a complex web of nebulous legal standards and requirements. Employers, even small businesses, who violate these new restrictions would be exposed to potential expensive litigation. In addition, employers would be subject to invasive data collection, extending far beyond basic compensation information. As a result, the primary beneficiaries of this bill would be trial lawyers, who would no doubt bring class action lawsuits seeking unlimited damages.
This legislation constitutes a radical overreach of federal authority that would affect everything from hiring procedures to basic business practices, making it difficult for businesses to operate without fear of legal retribution. In turn, this would have a chilling effect on salary and hiring decisions by discouraging employers from rewarding employees for hard work and innovative practices, creating a less flexible workplace.
Furthermore, H.R. 7 contains unoffset spending in the form of grants, research, and a new annual monetary “award.” Finally, the overall goals of this legislation are already the law of the land due to provisions in the Civil Rights Act, Equal Pay Act, and Fair Labor Standards Acts. Under H.R. 7, women could be perceived as a legal liability, ultimately reducing employment opportunities. Rather than imposing new regulations that increase the cost of doing business and kill jobs, Congress should remove barriers that limit prosperity for both men and women.
Roll call votes on H.R. 7 will be included in NTU’s annual Rating of Congress and a “NO” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Director of Federal Affairs, Thomas Aiello at Thomas.Aiello@ntu.org