The House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act Thursday with a 247 to 178 vote. The bill was sponsored by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and will strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by introducing non-retaliation requirements and increasing penalties on employers, among other provisions.
Though the bill allows women to sue for punitive and compensatory damages under the Equal Pay Act, it does not lift caps on sexual discrimination cases that women face under Title VII. In her floor statement DeLauro clarified that the bill "simply makes clear that when an employer states that its pay scale is informed by a 'factor other than sex,' that must actually be true, and not just an excuse to continue discriminatory practices."
Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the act as making "common-sense changes to strengthen the Equal Pay Act so that it will be a more effective tool in combating gender-based pay discrimination". Congresswoman Maloney expressed that "women's work should be valued equally. Passing this bill today is an important step toward making that happen".