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Democrat-Backed Pay Bias Bill to Get Final House Vote

March 27, 2019, 10:00 AM

The House March 27 is scheduled to vote on legislation intended to help squelch pay disparities for workers doing the same job.

The Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7, S. 270) is expected to first draw some partisan debate before the chamber moves for a final vote. Democrats and Republicans have already clashed on the legislation, which would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to require companies to show that pay disparities among workers doing the same job are based on “bona fide job-related factors” that are “consistent with business necessity.”

The bill has been introduced consistently since the 1990s as an effort to close race and sex pay gaps, but it hasn’t been able to clear both chambers. The re-introduced bill is anticipated to pass the House but stall in the Republican-control Senate.

The Education and Labor Committee debated the legislation before approving it in a party-line vote Feb. 26. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), who opposed the measure, has dubbed the legislation a win for trial lawyers since it opens “unlimited” litigation for pay bias claims and increases the money damages that can be awarded.

The Rules Committee March 25 cleared the legislation for floor debate and vote, which includes proposed amendments such as caps on lawyer fees and encouraging workers to try solving issue with employers before filing a lawsuit.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tyrone Richardson in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Cynthia Harasty at; Chris Opfer at