Elections have consequences: Trial lawyers will be very busy in labor markets
The House voted on Friday to give women powerful new tools to challenge sex discrimination by employers who pay women less than men for the same or substantially similar work.
The action shows how Congress, working with President-elect Barack Obama, intends to make a swift, sharp break with civil rights policies of the Bush administration.
“In the first week of the new Congress, this is the legislation we are putting forward: pay equity, fairness to women in the workplace,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California. “These are our priorities. This Congress has heard the message of change in the election.”
The House passed two related bills on Friday. One, approved 247 to 171, would give workers more time to file lawsuits claiming job discrimination.
The bill would overturn a 2007 decision by the Supreme Court that enforced a strict 180-day deadline, thwarting a lawsuit by Lilly M. Ledbetter, a longtime supervisor at the Goodyear tire plant in Gadsden, Ala. Three Republicans voted for the bill.
The other bill — passed 256 to 163, with support from 10 Republicans — would make it easier for women to prove violations of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which generally requires equal pay for equal work. . . .