Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a measure intended to overturn a Supreme Court decision limiting pay discrimination suits ...
By a vote of 56 to 42, the Senate fell four votes short of the 60 required to begin consideration of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, named for an Alabama woman who lost a case against the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company when the court found she not did file her complaint in time. Ms. Ledbetter had been paid as much as 40 percent less than her male counterparts doing the same job, according to her allies.
Note that Ms. Ledbetter also did not know of the discrimination against her "in time." This ruling effectively makes it impossible for women to sue companies for discriminatory pay unless, of course, the company decides to inform them of the crime in a timely manner.
While Senators Clinton and Obama both flew-in from campaigning to vote in favor of the Fair Pay Restoration Act, McCain "skipped the vote but told reporters he would have opposed the bill since it could contribute to frivolous lawsuits harmful to businesses."
Other Republicans cited similar reasons for their opposition. As CNN notes:
The bill that stalled Wednesday would have reset the clock with every paycheck, with supporters arguing that each paycheck was a discriminatory act. But Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican, said the bill would allow retirees drawing pensions to sue their old companies over allegations of discrimination that happened decades ago.
Get that? They are worried that a flood of little old ladies will attack the helpless companies that robbed them so long ago that it should just be water under the bridge at this point. And if the company doesn't decide to tell female employees that they are getting screwed out of the pay they deserve within the six month time frame, well... what can we do? We don't want to inconvenience the bigots - those women should have known. Perhaps all women could just hire private investigators to make sure they aren't victims of discrimination - that would be so much more practical. Or we could just accept that our government has declared that our time simply isn't worth as much as a man's.
UPDATE: One of the best posts I've read about this horrendous vote can be found on Black Women Vote!. Go read all of it, but here is a little taste:
Payroll executives know the real truth. I could see exactly what everybody earned: from the CEO's million dollar bonus check all the way down to the front desk receptionist's 3 cent raise.
But the real shocker for me was the differential in wages for people who had the same job. At the tender age of 24, I learned that women were getting seriously financially stiffed ACROSS THE BOARD. It didn't matter if the women were attorneys or if they were customer service representatives. Women, FLAT OUT, made much less money than men did, even when their job titles were the same...
And this old fool [McCain] doesn't think that women should have the ability to demand that the government enforce the law -- by saying that 'there would be too many lawsuits', he basically says that wholesale financial abuse of women is just fine and dandy with him.
Yeah, that's what I heard too.