The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) urges the U.S. Senate to oppose the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199) because the unprecedented changes the Act makes to pre-existing laws protecting employees from wage discrimination place an undue burden on employers, stunt job creation, encourage costly, frivolous litigation and endanger employee privacy.
The retail industry is committed to the principles of fairness and non-discrimination when it comes to hiring practices and compensation. This legislation restricts the ability of employers to compensate employees based on common sense factors such as experience, education, training, employer need and shift differentials. Should this bill pass, the devastating effects will be felt by all employers, large and small.
“The Paycheck Fairness Act is unnecessary and harmful. Federal laws already exist to protect employees from pay discrimination,” said Bill Hughes, senior vice president of government affairs at RILA. “This legislation encourages lawsuits exposing businesses to unlimited penalties which will have devastating effects on the nation’s businesses and suppress job creation at a time when the economy can ill-afford it.”
The bill, introduced by Senator Barbara Mikulski, limits the ability of businesses to determine how to best compensate their employees. In addition, the legislation promotes expensive class action suits and exposes job creators to unlimited – and unprecedented – punitive damages.
“RILA vigorously opposes this flawed bill and finds the decision to expose employers and their employees to expansive government interference especially troubling,” Hughes concluded.
Retailers strive to provide generous compensation packages to their employees based on tangible factors such as experience and achievement. Forcing a pay regime onto employers that prevents them from taking factors such as these into account will disrupt the labor markets and serve as a barrier to employment for all, especially for the young, inexperienced workers who often find their first jobs in retail.
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.