Citation:

Lilly Ledbetter Act

Capito Said The Lilly Ledbetter Act Focused More On Lawsuits Than Equal Pay. According to The Intelligencer, “‘Like any female professional and mother, I believe we must reach the point where women who are performing similar jobs to their male counterparts are compensated equally,’ Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said Tuesday. ‘Women make up 47 percent of the U.S. work force and are in higher leadership positions than ever before. There’s no question that they should be paid accordingly. However, the Lilly Ledbetter act goes beyond the shared and laudable goal of equal pay for equal work by focusing more on lawsuits rather than the root of pay discrimination.’” [The Intelligencer, 1/30/13]

Capito Claimed That The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Was A “Trial Lawyer’s Boon” And Had Too Many Litigation Possibilities. According to the Charleston Gazette, “Capito Capito, a working mother and grandmother, said equal pay and women’s rights in the work place ‘are probably as important to me as anything.’ She voted no, she said, because the law was ‘a trial lawyer’s boon that would open up years and years and years of litigation possibilities.’ ‘The way it was presented to me,’ she said, ‘it was excessive.’” [Charleston Gazette, 10/31/12]

2009

2009: Capito Voted Against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act To Prevent Wage Discrimination. In 2009, Capito voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The Senate measure was nearly identical to some provisions in the House passed version HR 11. The final bill allowed employees to sue employers for wage discrimination within 180 days of their last paycheck affected by the alleged discrimination. The measure was designed to overturn a 2007 Supreme Court decision (Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.) that ruled a worker could not bring a wage discrimination suit more than 180 days after the initial discriminatory act. The Senate version of the bill did not include a provision from HR 12 that would have required 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. [Senate Vote 37, 01/27/2009; CO House Action Reports Legislative Week, 1/26/09]

2007

2007: Capito Voted Against The Lilly 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, Capito 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]

Paycheck Fairness Act

2009: Capito Voted Against Requiring That Employers Prove That Instances Of Unequal Pay For Men And Women Was Job Related. In January 2009, Capito 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]

2008: Capito Voted Against The Paycheck Fairness Act, Which Made It Easier For Women To Successfully Sue Their Employers Over Unequal Compensation. In July 2008, Capito 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]