Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Keep the Calls Coming!

On Election Day, Americans spoke out against the radical liberal agenda in Washington, D.C. Voters demanded a Congress that will strengthen the economy and create more jobs. 
But, the liberal left is still pandering to feminists and trial attorneys at the expense of American jobs by bringing the so-called “Paycheck Fairness Act” to a vote during the Lame Duck Session that begins Monday, November 15th.
The “Paycheck Fairness Act” would stifle job creation, send existing American jobs overseas, and burden employers with expensive paperwork and frivolous lawsuits.   
Your calls are urgently needed to stop the feminists from causing unemployment rates to rise even higher!
Originally introduced by Hillary Clinton during her time in the Senate, and reintroduced by Sen. Harry Reid, the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 3772)(PFA) would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) in the following ways:
  • Allows for unlimited compensatory and punitive damages to be granted, even without proof of intent to discriminate.  Currently, an employer must be found to have intentionally engaged in discriminatory practices in order for an employee to receive monetary compensation, and even then, the employee is entitled only to back pay.  The provision in the PFA is unacceptable and unnecessary, as damages are already available under Title VII for pay discrimination.
  • Changes the “establishment” requirement.  The EPA currently requires that employees whose pay is being compared must work in the same physical place of business.  The PFA would amend the word “establishment” to mean workplaces in the same county or political district.  It would also invite the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to develop “rules or guidance” to define the term more broadly.  This leaves the door open for the EEOC to compare a woman’s job in a rural area to a man’s job in an urban area that has a much higher cost of living, which would drive up the cost of employing the woman in the rural lower cost area.  Such increase in employment costs would result in fewer people being employed, and would also result in employers shipping jobs overseas.
  • Replaces a successful pay discrimination-determining system with a proven failed system.  The PFA would invalidate the successful, Supreme Court-endorsed system for determining whether pay discrimination has occurred (known as the Interpretative Standards for Systemic Compensation Discrimination), and would replace it with the highly inaccurate Equal Opportunity Survey, which has found true discriminators to be non-discriminators 93 percent of the time.
  • Increases the numbers in class-action suits.  Under EPA, if an employee wants to participate in a class-action suit against his employer, he must affirmatively decide to participate in the suit.  The PFA would automatically include employees in class-action suits, unless they affirmatively opt out.  This change would result in booming business for trial attorneys, and huge costs to employers, who may decide to ship jobs overseas to avoid such costs altogether.
In addition to these changes, the PFA would institute a system of  “comparable worth” effectively allowing judges, juries and unelected bureaucrats to set employees’ wages, instead of employers.  Thus, an employee’s compensation level would be based on some vague notion of his “worth,” instead of on concrete factors like education, experience, time in the labor force, and hours worked per week.  The PFA would also cause employers to avoid hiring women in low-paying positions, since the employers may then become targets for burdensome lawsuits.  This trend would result in even higher unemployment for low-skilled women, potentially increasing the number of families dependent on government assistance. 
President Obama has called the PFA a “common-sense bill.” The truth is, this bill makes no sense during good economic times, and would only add insult to injury now, when unemployment is near double-digits nationwide. 
Elaine Chao, Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush, called the PFA a “job killing, trial attorney bonanza,” and said employers potentially would see female applicants as instigators of lawsuits, instead of contributors to productivity. 

The House of Representatives has already passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, and President Obama has said that he will sign the bill into law if the Senate passes it.  The Senate vote is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 17, so call your Senator and tell him or her to vote NO on S. 3772 the so-called “Paycheck Fairness Act!”
Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121