What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Rights of Individuals in the Workplace : (S.181) On the motion to table (kill) the Enzi of Wyoming Amendment offered to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. The amendment offered to this bill dealing with wage discrimination sought to clarify that only the individuals directly discriminated against would have standing to sue for back wages.
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(S.181) On the motion to table (kill) the Enzi of Wyoming Amendment offered to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. The amendment offered to this bill dealing with wage discrimination sought to clarify that only the individuals directly discriminated against would have standing to sue for back wages.
senate Roll Call 10     Jan 22, 2009
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This was a vote on a motion to table (kill) an amendment offered by Sen. Enzi (R-WY) to S.181, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. The Enzi Amendment sought to clarify that only individuals directly discriminated against would have standing to sue for wage discrimination, rather than members of their families and others. S.181 was designed to change the law to say that the 180 day statute of limitations for filing a pay discrimination suit begins again with each new paycheck that contains the unfair pay.
 
According to a commentary on the Enzi Amendment in The New York Law Journal, it was offered in an attempt to clarify that S. 181should not be interpreted to be expanding the class of persons who have standing to sue for wage discrimination beyond those against whom the discrimination had occurred. For example, it intended to insure that individuals who are “affected by” the discrimination, which could include spouses, family members, or other individuals dependent on the employee’s income or pension, could not use the wage discrimination as a basis for a suit.

In response to the concerns raised by Enzi, Sen. Mikulski (D-MD), who was leading the effort on behalf of S. 181, assured him that the Act “would clearly not expand the class of plaintiffs beyond those subjected to discrimination in employment.” Mikulski said she wanted to make it “crystal clear” and to state “unabashedly for legislative intent that the only persons who can file a suit under the act of discussion today are those who have suffered discrimination on the job or the Federal entities charged with enforcing these civil rights acts, not the relatives or friends of these workers.”

A motion to table is an effort to kill a pending bill or amendment, in this case the Enzi Amendment. The vote on the motion was 55-41 along almost straight party lines. Fifty-four Democrats and one Republican voted “aye”.  All forty-one “nay” votes were cast by Republicans.  As a result, no additional language was added to S. 181specifying that only the employee herself could sue for wage discrimination based on the rights it granted.

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