Equal Pay for Women Can Become a Reality: A Proposal for Enactment of the Paycheck Fairness Act
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The Equal Pay Act of 1963 has proved ineffective for women pursuing claims based on sex discrimination in the workplace. Legislative history indicates that the overall purpose of the EPA was to eliminate the wage gap; however, this honorable goal has not been achieved. The Paycheck Fairness Act, which was first introduced to Congress in 1997, will amend the EPA and further the original intent of Congress: eliminate the wage gap between men and women. The proposed legislation urges several new propositions, but this Legislative Note focuses on three amendments. First, the PFA would amend the infamous “any other factor other than sex” affirmative defense with a business justification defense. Second, the PFA clearly defines the term “establishment.” Last, the PFA would alter the original EPA collective action into a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 class action. The overall goal of this Legislative Note indicates—based on case law, legislative history, and other scholarly material—that through these three amendments women will be able to more effectively pursue claims concerning sex discrimination.