One of the promises Barack Obama made in his State of the Union address was to "crack down on violations of equal pay laws," and the House has rushed to fulfill his vision by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.
The bill will have a hearing before the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee tomorrow (March 11, 2010).
The Paycheck Fairness Act will make it harder for employers to defend themselves against charges of gender bias by shifting the burden of disproving the allegations to the defendants rather than requiring plaintiffs to prove discrimination. It will also uncap punitive damages, so someone could be rewarded $22,000 in back wages–and $17.5 million in punitive damages! A stretch, but anything is possible if there's a jury (or wacko judge) involved.
Once this and Obamacare become the law of the land (cross your fingers that they don't), what's next?
Forced Free Choice Act (EFCA), no less.