HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Paycheck Fairness Act Fails to Pass in U.S. Senate

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By Eric B. Meyer

Billed as a way to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, the Paycheck Fairness Act, did not make it out of the Senate yesterday.

The Paycheck Fairness Act earned 52 votes in favor of proceeding to final consideration, eight votes shy of the 60 votes necessary for cloture. The vote came down strictly along party lines, with the two independent senators voting with the Democrats and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill, not voting. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, changed his vote so that he could bring the bill up again.

In other workplace news:

  • The Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled on Monday that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 permits claims for retaliatory hostile work environment. The decision brings the Eleventh Circuit in line with everyone else.
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is touting a rare summary judgment victory in a Title VII retaliation case. A federal judge ruled that an employer unlawfully retaliated against an employee for refusing to waive his rights to file a discrimination charge as a part of a “last chance agreement.”
  • And here’s a weird one, as reported in the Tampa Bay Times: a woman in Florida is suing for unpaid OT. That’s not so weird. What is, however, is that, although she appears on the payroll, no one remembers hiring her, and no one remembers her ever working for his business.

This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.

Eric B. Meyer is a partner in the Labor and Employment Group of the Philadelphia-based law firm of Dilworth Paxson LLP . He dedicates his practice to litigating and assisting employers on labor and employment issues affecting the workplace, including collective bargaining, discrimination, employee handbook policies, enforcement of restrictive covenants, and trade secret protection. Eric also serves as a volunteer mediator for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Contact him at emeyer@dilworthlaw.com .