Citation:

Paycheck Fairness Act

2009

2009: Gingrey Voted Against Requiring That Employers Prove That Instances Of Unequal Pay For Men And Women Was Job Related. In January 2009, Gingrey voted against a bill that according to Congressional Quarterly “would [have] require[d] employers seeking to justify unequal pay for male and female workers to prove that such disparities are job-related and required by a business necessity. It would [have] bar[red] retaliation by employers against employees who share salary information with their co-workers. Workers who won wage discrimination cases could collect compensatory and punitive damages.” The House passed the bill by a vote of 256 to 163. The text of the bill was appended to the end of H.R. 11 as new matter. H.R. 11 was passed by the House, but the Senate took no substantive action. [House Vote 8, 1/9/09; Congressional Quarterly, 1/9/09; Congressional Actions, H.R. 12; Congressional Actions, H.R. 11]

  • 2009: Gingrey Voted To Cap At $2,000 Per Hour Any Award Of Attorneys’ Fees Against An Employer Found Liable Under The Paycheck Fairness Act. In January 2009, Gingrey voted for an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, would have “stipulat[ed] [that] employers found liable would not be required to compensate for expert fees in excess of $2,000 per hour in discrimination cases described in the measure.” The vote was on a motion to recommit the bill with instructions to report the bill back with the specified amendment. The House rejected the motion by a vote of 178 to 240. [House Vote 7, 1/9/09; Congressional Actions, HR 12; Congressional Quarterly, 1/9/09]

2008

2008: Gingrey Voted Against The Paycheck Fairness Act, Which Made It Easier For Women To Successfully Sue Their Employers Over Unequal Compensation. In July 2008, Gingrey voted against a bill that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would make it easier for women who are paid less than their male counterparts to bring suits against their employers and receive compensation. Employers seeking to justify unequal pay would have to prove that disparities are job-related and required by a business necessity. Workers who won wage discrimination cases could collect compensatory and punitive damages. As amended, it would specify that punitive damages could only be awarded to plaintiffs who prove intentional discrimination.” The House passed the bill, named the Paycheck Fairness Act, by a vote of 247 to 178. The Senate took no substantive action on the measure. [House Vote 556, 7/31/08; Congressional Quarterly, 7/31/08; Congressional Actions, H.R. 1338]

  • Supporters Said Women Across The Nation Were Paid 77 Percent Of What Men Were Paid. According to the Congressional Record, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) said, “I rise today in strong support of the Paycheck Fairness Act, to protect the right of all Americans to equal pay for equal work. I want to begin by thanking my colleague, Representative DeLauro, for introducing this bill, and Chairman Miller for steering it through committee and onto the floor. It is long overdue. After years of neglect under the former majority, this House has boldly taken on the challenge of trying to solve longstanding economic problems so that hardworking families can really achieve the American Dream instead of just dreaming about the American Dream. Women across America are still only paid 77 percent of what men are paid. Does this mean that women are only 77 percent as valuable as their male counterparts? Certainly not. It means there are, unfortunately, still lingering remnants of an earlier time in our history when women didn’t have the same rights as men.” [Congressional Record, 7/31/08]
  • Opponents Said Bill Would Help Out Trial Lawyers, But Would Not Address Working Women’s Real Concerns. According to the Congressional Record, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) said, “Luckily, there are steps we could take right now, right here, that would ease the strain on working women. Republicans have proposed a bill, the American Energy Act, that embraces our ‘all of the above’ approach to the energy reform. It would unlock America’s vast energy resources, increasing the production of American-made energy and reducing foreign nations’ stranglehold on our economic and national security. Republicans recognize that we need comprehensive solutions to solve our energy crisis and ease the strain on working families brought by high energy costs. Unfortunately, the majority has refused to allow a vote on commonsense energy reform. Now we’re poised to go home for a month without voting on real energy reforms. We’re about to pass a bill that will bring a major payday to trial lawyers, but will do nothing to ease the pocketbook concerns of hardworking American families.” [Congressional Record, 7/31/08]

Lilly Ledbetter Act

2009

Gingrey Voted Against The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Which Expanded The Deadline To File Wage Discrimination Lawsuits. In 2009, Gingrey voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which allowed lawsuits for pay discrimination to be filed within 180 days of any discrimination-affected paycheck, even if it was the result of discrimination that occurred more than 180 days ago. The bill effectively overturned the Supreme Court’s 2006 ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. According to the New York Times, in that case, “A jury found [Ledbetter’s] employer, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company plant in Gadsden, Ala., guilty of pay discrimination. But in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court threw out the case, ruling that she should have filed her suit within 180 days of the date that Goodyear first paid her less than her peers.” According to the New York Times, the Ledbetter Act “restarts the six-month clock every time the worker receives a paycheck.” The bill passed the House, 250 to 177, and President Obama signed it into law on January 29, 2009. [House Vote 37, 1/27/09; Public Law 111-2; New York Times, 1/29/09]

2009: Gingrey Voted Against The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Which Expanded The Deadline To File Wage Discrimination Lawsuits. In 2009, Gingrey voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which allowed lawsuits for pay discrimination to be filed within 180 days of any discrimination-affected paycheck, even if the paycheck was the result of discrimination that occurred more than 180 days ago. The bill effectively overturned the Supreme Court’s 2006 ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. According to the New York Times, in that case, “A jury found [Ledbetter’s] employer, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company plant in Gadsden, Ala., guilty of pay discrimination. But in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court threw out the case, ruling that she should have filed her suit within 180 days of the date that Goodyear first paid her less than her peers.” The bill passed the House, 247 to 171. A similar bill, S.181, was approved by Congress later that month, and ultimately became law. [House Vote 9, 1/9/09; Public Law 111-2]

2007

2007: Gingrey Voted Against Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Which Extended The Time To File A Lawsuit Over Pay Discrimination To 180 Days From The Last Discriminatory Paycheck. In July 2007, Gingrey voted against a bill that, according to a Congressional Quarterly, would have “amend[ed] the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to allow employees to file charges of alleged discrimination within 180 days of the last paycheck received that is affected by alleged employment discrimination. ([Then-c]urrent law require[d] such suits be filed within days of the alleged discriminatory act, not the paychecks affected by the alleged act.) It also clarifie[d] that an employee is entitled — under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act — to up to two years of back pay if it is determined that discrimination occurred.” The House passed the bill by a vote of 225 to 199. The bill was then sent to the Senate, but the legislation died when the Senate rejected a motion to end debate. [House Vote 768, 7/31/07; Congressional Quarterly, 7/30/08; Congressional Actions, H.R. 2831]

  • Bill Was In Response To Supreme Court Decision That Wage Discrimination Lawsuits Had To Be Filed Within 180 Days Of Alleged Decision To Discriminate. According to Congressional Quarterly, “The Supreme Court ruled on May 29, in the case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., that workers cannot bring a wage discrimination lawsuit more than 180 days after an alleged discriminatory act. The case concerned Lilly Ledbetter, who had worked for Goodyear for more than 19 years. When she retired in 1998 — as a supervisor — her salary was 20% lower than that of the lowest-paid male supervisor. Seeking back pay, she sued Goodyear. In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Ledbetter filed her claim too late, citing applicable federal statutes.” [Congressional Quarterly, 7/30/07]
  • Bill Allowed For Wronged Employees To Be Paid Two Years’ Worth Of Back Wages. According to Congressional Quarterly, “The bill would also allow for wronged employees to be paid up to two years’ worth of back wages.” [Congressional Quarterly, 5/5/08]
  • Proponents Of The Bill Argued That It Often Took Years For An Employee To Discover That They Had Been A Victim Of Pay Discrimination. According to Congressional Quarterly, “Proponents of the bill argue that it often takes time, sometimes years, before employees can determine if they’ve been a victim of discrimination, especially because their coworkers’ pay is seldom made public.” [Congressional Quarterly, 5/5/08]
  • Opponents Of Bill Claimed That It Would Subject Employers To Unsubstantiated, Never-Ending Lawsuits. According to Congressional Quarterly, “The bill’s opponents, however, say the measure represents undue meddling that would subject businesses to unsubstantiated, potentially endless lawsuits.” [Congressional Quarterly, 5/5/08]