Senate Republicans Again Block Pay Equity Bill
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
Published: June 5, 2012
WASHINGTON — A bill that would pave the way for women to more easily litigate their way to pay equality failed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate on Tuesday, as Republicans united against the measure for the second time in two years.
As Lilly M. Ledbetter, the woman whose name was attached to prior legislation to ensure equal pay for women, watched from the gallery, the Senate voted 52-to-47 to open debate on the legislation, eight votes short of the 60 required.
The bill would have built on the 2009 Ledbetter legislation, which ended the statute of limitations on equal pay lawsuits. The new bill sought to bar companies from retaliating against workers who inquire about pay disparities and open pathways for female employees to sue for punitive damages in cases of paycheck discrimination.