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Comparable worth, under any other name, still invites lawsuits

Heard at the House Education and Labor mark-up of H.R. 1338, the Paycheck Fairness Act.

"This should be re-named the Trial Lawyer Paycheck Expansion Act" -- Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA)

Oh, sure, we've heard wisecracks like that before, but it still applies to this half-disguised bit of comparable worth legislation. As we argue in a post at Shopfloor.org, the bill would radically expand government involvement in employment decisions, create disadvantages for a new group of employees (blue collar), and invite a flood of litigation.

Section 3 is especially problematic, creating a section "enhanced penalties" that broadens the grounds for suing and removes any limits on compensatory and punitive damages. In other words, sue them until they cry uncle and then sue them again for not crying aunt.

The bill is expected on the House floor next week.

UPDATE (4:35 p.m.): Labor Secretary Elaine Chao on Wednesday sent a letter to the committee detailing the agency's strong objections. She is recommending a veto.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.