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Washington Labor & Employment Wire » Senate Fails to Invoke Cloture on Paycheck Fairness Act

Senate Fails to Invoke Cloture on Paycheck Fairness Act

On November 17, 2010, the Senate was unable to carry the requisite 60 votes needed to invoke cloture to overcome a Republican filibuster and proceed to a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, S. 3772,  with a final vote of 58 yeas and 41 nays.

The Paycheck Fairness Act, previously introduced in the Senate by Senator Clinton (D-NY) as S. 766 and subsequently reintroduced by Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) on September 13, 2010, would amend the portion of the Fair Labor Standards Act (”FLSA”) known as the “Equal Pay Act.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act would amend the portion of the Fair Labor Standards Act (”FLSA”) known as the “Equal Pay Act” that prohibits differentials in pay between employees of the opposite sex unless those differentials “are based on any other factor other than sex.” Among other things, the bill would require that any pay differential be based only on certain “bona fide factors,” such as education, training or experience, which must also be consistent with “business necessity.” In addition, the bill provides for compensatory damages, and, in certain circumstances, punitive damages for Equal Pay Act claims, provides for opt-out class actions for Equal Pay Act suits under the FLSA, as opposed to opt-in class actions, and requires that the EEOC collect pay information data from employers relating to employees’ sex, race and national origin.