Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.) discussed their efforts to rally support for the “Paycheck Fairness Act” Wednesday on MSNBC:
AL SHARPTON: Senator, Republicans have blocked the “Paycheck Fairness Act” before. Can they be moved this time?
BARBARA MIKULSKI: Absolutely. We have the momentum of the American women behind us. And guess what, we have, now, 20 women in the United States Senate, 16 Democrats. We know we support it. We hope our Republican colleagues do and there are good men like our president right here in the Senate that will. And we’re going to make our case that this is — if we can pass the Paycheck Fairness Act which will deal with the two major issues, number one, when a woman asks either the guy next to her or her personnel director what her pay is and the guy making it, she can be harassed, she can be punished, she can even be fired. We want to stop that. And second, there’s a loophole where they make up that because you’re a woman, gender, that they can pay a guy more. But usually, we find those are phony, baloney reasons.
Previous iterations of the legislation have failed, most recently in June 2012. The bill has been criticized as a boon for special interest trial lawyers who would benefit from provisions such as unlimited punitive damage claims in certain lawsuits involving alleged workplace gender discrimination.