Senate Republicans voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2010, killing the legislation which had been passed by the House of Representatives over two years ago. The bill, which would have updated and expanded the Equal Pay Act of 1963, had wide popular support, as well as the support of 58 Senate Democrats. The bill was two votes shy of a filibuster-proof majority.
President Obama, speaking about the bill, stated that he was “deeply disappointed” that “a minority of Senators” prevented the Act from being brought up for a debate and receiving a vote. Said the President: [a]s we emerge from one of the worst recessions in history, this bill would ensure that American women and their families aren’t bringing home smaller paychecks because of discrimination. It also helps businesses that pay equal wages as they struggle to compete against discriminatory competition. But a partisan minority of Senators blocked this commonsense law. Despite today’s vote, my Administration will continue to fight for a woman’s right to equal pay for equal work.”
Now that the Republicans have added six senate seats, it is unlikely that any new anti-discrimination legislation will be passed for several years. In my opinion, these politicians have emboldened and encouraged those who would discriminate against women. Fortunately, here in New Jersey, we have strong laws against discrimination. If you are a female who feels you are being paid less than your male colleagues, contact a knowledgeable NJ employment attorney to discuss your options.