House Passes Pay Discrimination Bills

January 9, 2009 ( - The U.S. House of Representatives has passed two bills pertaining to pay discrimination that opponents say would increase costs and expose companies to more lawsuits.

According to Bloomberg, the Paycheck Fairness Act, passed 256-163, would lift a cap on damages in pay-discrimination suits and restrict the range of defenses that can be raised by employers. It also would bar employers from penalizing workers who share salary information to detect pay discrepancies.

The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act effectively strips the time limits on when workers can sue for pay discrimination. The Act was approved on a 247-171 vote.

The Ledbetter bill would reverse a U.S. Supreme Court ruling validating a 180-day statute of limitations on pay discrimination claims (see House to Consider Pay Discrimination Claims Bills ).