U.S. House passes Paycheck Fairness Act
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A bill aimed at closing the gender wage gap passed the House of Representatives Thursday.
The Paycheck Fairness Act passed with a vote of 217 to 210, with the opposition of several Republicans.
The Paycheck Fairness Act essentially updates the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which some lawmakers say has failed its promise to close the wage gap.
The legislation ensures equal pay for equal work for all Americans, regardless of gender.
It requires employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons.
If passed, the bill would also make it easier to sue employers over pay discrimination, increase penalties for wage discrimination, plus strengthen prohibitions against retaliation against workers who make discrimination complaints.
President Joe Biden has already shown his support. In a statement, following the passage of the bill, he said, “Equal pay is about justice, fairness, and who we are as a nation — it makes all of us stronger, and it represents what America is truly about. Passing the Paycheck Fairness Act is an essential step, but we still have a lot more work to do to ensure that our daughters have all of the same rights and opportunities as our sons.”
Some Republicans argue that the pay gap is not a result of gender discrimination, but rather the different career choices made by women. They also say the bill could lead to a rise in lawsuits against employers.
Georgia has 14 representatives - 8 republicans voted against the bill, with 6 democrats voting for it.
Out of South Carolina’s seven representatives, their one Democrat voted to pass the bill.
The legislation heads to the Senate, where again, it faces strong Republican opposition.
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