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Key Votes

S 2199 - Paycheck Fairness Act - Key Vote

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Legislation - Cloture Not Invoked (Senate) (53-44) - (Key vote)

Title: Paycheck Fairness Act

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote on a motion to invoke cloture on a motion to proceed to debate on a bill that establishes additional penalties for violations of equal pay requirements in the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Highlights:
  • Prohibits any employer from discharging or discriminating against any employee who has inquired about, discussed, or disclosed his or her wages or the wages of another employee (Sec. 3).
  • Prohibits an employer from paying a wage rate to employees of a particular sex that is lower than the rate paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work unless such payment is made due to certain factors including, but not limited to, “a bona fide factor other than sex”, whereas existing law specified “any other factor other than sex” (Sec. 3).
  • Specifies that the bona fide factor defense shall apply only if the employer demonstrates the following (Sec. 3):
    • The factor is not based upon or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation;
    • The factor is job-related with respect to the position in question; and
    • The factor is consistent with “business necessity”.
  • Requires an employer who violates the provisions of this bill to be held liable for the following (Sec. 3):
    • Compensatory damages; or
    • Punitive damages, if the employee can demonstrate that the employer acted with “malice” or “reckless indifference” and the employer is not the United States government.
  • Requires the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to complete certain tasks including, but not limited to, collect pay information data from employers as described by the sex, race, and national origin of employees (Sec. 8).
  • Requires the Secretary of Labor to publish information on compensation discrimination including any information that would assist the public in “understanding and addressing” such discrimination (Sec. 9).
  • Authorizes the Secretary of Labor to establish and implement a grant program for certain public agencies for the purpose of creating a negotiation skills training program for girls and women (Sec. 5).
  • Appropriates $15 million to implement the provisions of this bill (Sec. 10).
Note:

NOTE: INVOKING CLOTURE REQUIRES A 3/5 MAJORITY OF THE SENATE. IT IS NOT A VOTE ON THE PASSAGE OF THE PIECE OF LEGISLATION, BUT LIMITS FURTHER DEBATE TO 30 HOURS. CLOTURE IS TYPICALLY USED TO END A FILIBUSTER. A FAILED CLOTURE VOTE OFTEN PREVENTS THE LEGISLATION FROM EVER COMING TO A VOTE.

NOTE: THIS IS A VOTE TO INVOKE CLOTURE ON A MOTION TO PROCEED, WHICH SENDS THE LEGISLATION TO THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE FOR DEBATE AND AMENDMENT. A MOTION TO PROCEED ALONE REQUIRES A MAJORITY FOR APPROVAL. HOWEVER, THE MOTION CAN BE FILIBUSTERED, AND WHEN THIS OCCURS, A CLOTURE VOTE IS NECESSARY TO VOTE ON THE MOTION TO PROCEED. A THREE-FIFTHS MAJORITY OF THE SENATE IS NECESSARY TO INVOKE CLOTURE.

Legislation - Introduced (Senate) -

Title: Paycheck Fairness Act

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