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The Ledbetter Bill Nears Passage

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The Lilly Ledbetter Act, along with the Paycheck Fairness Act, was passed by the House last Friday and the Ledbetter Act could reach the Senate as early as next week. The Ledbetter Act increases the time that employees have to file equal pay claims and the Paycheck Fairness Act provides gender based equal pay claims with the same damages that other discrimination statutes provide.

Predictably, the conservative opposition characterized these bills as trouble for business:

It sends a signal, said Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon of California, senior Republican on the Education and Labor Committee, "that the first substantive order of business is not job creation or tax relief but rather a trial lawyer boondoggle that can put jobs and worker pensions in jeopardy."

Rep. McKeon, do you really mean to say that these bills are bad for this country, or are you just posturing? You did not mean to suggest that employees should be deprived of justice because their employer was able to hide the fact from them for 181 days, did you? Shouldn’t an employer who pays one group of employees less than another group for performing the same job duties pay for breaking the law? Do you really believe that the victims of gender based equal pay claims shouldn’t recover the same damages that Congress has previously decided that other victims of discrimination can? What aspect of these bills constitutes a "boondoggle?" I have sent you an e-mail inviting you to read this post. Please give us your thoughts.