• Paycheck Fairness Falls
  • April 16, 2014
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • The Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill intended to close the gender pay gap, fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance in the Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 53 to 44.

    All Democrats voted for the measure, except for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who switched his vote to no for procedural reasons so that he can bring the bill back up. Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine, who caucuses with Democrats, also voted no.

    The bill is part of Senate Democrats' election-year agenda, which includes measures such as a minimum-wage increase. All day Tuesday, which was Equal Pay Day, Democratic candidates and committees highlighted the need for the bill, and President Obama signed two executive actions relating to equal pay.

    The Paycheck Fairness Act, which failed to garner any Republican support, would have done a couple of things. For one, it would have made it illegal to retaliate against employees who share or ask for wage data in the course of a complaint or investigation—the thinking is that part of eliminating gender pay discrimination is increasing transparency. The act would have also made employers liable to civil action on gender pay discrimination matters, and would have directed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect gender and racial wage data from employers.