If the Paycheck Fairness Act reaches President George W. Bush's desk, he will veto the legislation, according to a statement from the White House last week.
In a July 30 "Statement of Administration Policy," the White House indicated that the President's "senior advisors would recommend that he veto" HR 1338 if it was presented to him. The bill, known as the Paycheck Fairness Act, would amend the Equal Pay Act by, among other things, requiring that employers seeking to justify unequal pay bear the burden of proving that its actions are job-related and consistent with a business necessity.
The White House statement read in part: "The Administration strongly supports and aggressively enforces our Nation 's anti-discrimination laws and is firmly committed to the principle of equal pay for equal work. But rather than contributing to that cause, H.R.1338 would make enforcement of these laws more difficult and error-prone and invite a surge of litigation. Therefore, the Administration strongly opposes the "Paycheck Fairness Act." The bill would unjustifiably amend the Equal Pay Act (EPA) to allow for, among other things, unlimited compensatory and punitive damages, even when a disparity in pay was unintentional. It also would encourage discrimination claims to be made based on factors unrelated to actual pay discrimination by allowing pay comparisons between potentially different labor markets. In addition, it would require the Department of Labor (DOL)to replace its successful approach to detecting pay discrimination with a failed methodology that was abandoned because it had a 93 percent false positive rate."
For more on the Paycheck Fairness Act, see our previous coverage.