President Obama has signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (S. 181) into law. Senators passed the bill last week by a vote of 61 to 36. Notably, this is the first bill signing for President Obama.
More information on the legislation can be found in this entry.
In the News:
The Senate has passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (S. 181) by a vote of 61 to 36.
Per a previous post, the bill would do the following:
According to a press release from the bill’s lead sponsor, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), the legislation would “remedy the 2007 Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. decision in which a divided Supreme Court held that workers must sue for pay discrimination within 180 days after the original pay-setting decision, no matter how long the unfair pay continues.”
It would do so by amending “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 so that the statute of limitations runs from the date of the actual payment of a discriminatory wage, not just from the time of hiring.” This means that “employees can seek a remedy based on each discriminating paycheck, not just during the first 180 days of pay discrimination.”
The debate and process used during consideration of this bill was well-received by members from both parties after Senate leaders agreed to allow amendments and not filibuster the procedural movement of the legislation.
Update: House action is to take place this week (1/26) with final passage expected.
The Senate has defeated an amendment offered by Senator David Vitter (R-LA) to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (S. 181) by a vote of 59 to 38.
The amendment would have opened up the bidding on government projects to non-union companies by codifying a law (by way of a Bush executive order) that bans federal agencies from mandating the use of union-only project labor agreements.
The Senate has cleared two amendments, as offered by Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (S. 181).
- Demint – This amendment would essentially create right-to-work laws in states by eliminating federal requirements that workers pay union dues. Senators agreed to table, or kill, the amendment by a vote of 67 to 30.
- Isakson – This amendment would provide that the provisions within the underlying fair pay legislation not be applied retroactively to previous discrimination cases but only those that have already been filed, or will be filed after the date of the bill’s enactment into law. Senators agreed to table, or kill, the amendment by a vote of 59 to 38.
The Senate has cleared four amendments, as offered by Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (S. 181).
- Specter Amendment (#26) – This amendment said that an employer could defend itself against a discrimination lawsuit if the employee knew about a wage discrepancy but still agreed to the payment scenario. Senators agreed to table, or kill, the amendment by a margin of 53 to 43.
- Specter Amendment (#27) – This amendment would clarify the term “other practices” within the current legislation which allows for considerations other than the unequal pay to be used when initiating a lawsuit against an employer, such as a performance review or other related item. Specter’s amendment would have specifically listed what “other practices” could be cause for a discriminatory lawsuit. Senators agreed to table, or kill, the amendment by a margin of 55 to 39.
- Enzi Amendment (#28) – This amendment would clarify who has proper standing to file a lawsuit for pay discrimination, making it only allowable for the person who was subjected to such discrimination to sue. Democrats called this clarification unnecessary. Senators agreed to table, or kill, the amendment by a margin of 55 to 41.
- Enzi Amendment (#29) – This amendment, which clarified standing rules similar to the above amendment #28 was tabled by Voice Vote.