On Wednesday Democrats and some Republicans in Congress tried to pass a discrimination bill. It would have allowed employees more time to sue if they were being discriminated against in pay. The bipartisan effort was unsuccessful because of an almost exclusively Republican filibuster. Even if the measure would have passed, it would have also faced a promised veto from the President.
Specifically at issue was a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. It allows employers to continue paying their employees in a discriminatory fashion for the workers’ entire career if the employees don’t dispute their pay within the first 180 days. Prior to the ruling, most people understood that the 180-day limit was intended to apply to any paycheck not just the very first one. It can be difficult for employees to find out what other co-workers are making within the short time frame outlined in the Supreme Court decision.
Senators Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton both took a break from the campaign trail to vote for the common sense measure. Republican presidential nominee John McCain was one of only two senators that did not show up for the vote. He told reporters that he was against the measure and claimed that ‘this is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system.’ Yes Senator McCain it is the government getting involved. Getting involved in possible cases of discrimination and assuring proper access for victims. Besides it being an inconvenience for your corporate cronies, what exactly is your problem with that?