Senate Democrats

Fact Check: Senator McConnell Misrepresents Senate Fair Pay Bill

Today, Senator Mitch McConnell claimed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would ‘dramatically’ increase the amount of new litigation in the country. However, that claim is contradicted by the Congressional Budget Office, which found that the bill would “not significantly affect the number of filings with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.”

FICTION:According to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Senate Fair Pay Measure Would Dramatically Increase Litigation Costs. According to Senator McConnell, “We think that this bill is primarily designed to create a massive amount of new litigation in our country, and I think that is the reason for the resistance to its passage on our side.” [Remarks at Press Conference, 4/22/08]

FACT:The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Would Not Increase the Number of Claims As it Only Restores the Law Back To Its Original Form, Before the Supreme Court Case. According to the author of the Senate measure, Senator Ted Kennedy, “Clearly, the rule leaves a gaping loophole in our civil rights laws. Our legislation closes this loophole by making clear that as long as the discrimination continues, a worker’s right to challenge it continues as well. There’s nothing radical about this, it simply restores the law that employers and workers had lived with for decades, until May 29, 2007, when the Ledbetter case was decided. It makes no changes in the time limit on damages for back pay, which is still two years.” [Office of Senator Edward Kennedy Press Release, 4/22/08]

FACT:According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Would Not Increase the Number of Discrimination Claims. According to the Congressional Budget Office, “H.R. 2831 would not establish a new cause of action for claims of pay discrimination. Because many variables influence the filing of a claim for pay discrimination, CBO expects that the bill would not significantly affect the number of filings with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Based on information from that agency, CBO estimates the H.R. 2831 would not significantly increase costs to the EEOC or to the federal courts over the 2008-2012 period. [Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate on HR 2831, 7/12/07]

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