Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., is one of the eight republicans who voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act. (House Television via AP) Congress Electoral College
Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., is one of the eight republicans who voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act. (House Television via AP)

Despite the eight votes against it from Pennsylvania Republicans, The Paycheck Fairness Act passed the US House of Representatives.

Federal legislation that would prohibit employers from paying men more than women narrowly passed the US House of Representatives on Thursday.

In a final vote of 217-210, the US House of Representatives approved the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill is now on its way to the US Senate, where it will need 60 votes to make it to the floor for a final vote. During the final vote, the bill needs 51 votes to be passed to President Joe Biden.

Biden has already indicated that he supports the bill:

If passed, the Paycheck Fairness Act would address the disparities in equal pay by holding employers more accountable for wage discrimination on the basis of sex, which is defined to include sex stereotypes, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics.

All nine Pennsylvania Democrats voted for—and cosponsored—the bill.

US Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (Bucks) was the only Pennsylvania Republican who voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act. The other eight Pennsylvania Republicans voted against it.

US Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia) said it was “shameful” that employers have been getting away with paying women less than men. He called out the impact pay inequality has on not only women, but their families as well.

US Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester) said the Paycheck Fairness Act was “long overdue.”

What is the Paycheck Fairness Act?

Its primary goals are to:

  • Limit an employer’s defense that a pay differential is based on a factor other than sex to only bona fide job-related factors in wage discrimination claims, enhances nonretaliation prohibitions and makes it unlawful to require an employee to sign a contract or waiver prohibiting the employee from disclosing information about the employee’s wages.
  • Increase civil penalties for violations of equal pay provisions
  • Require the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to train their employees and other affected parties on wage discrimination.
  • Require the EEOC to issue regulations for collecting from employers compensation and other employment data according to the sex, race, and national origin of employees for use in enforcing laws prohibiting pay discrimination.

It requires the US Department of Labor to: 

  • Establish and carry out grant programs for negotiation skills training for girls and women
  • Conduct studies to eliminate pay disparities between men and women
  • Make information available on wage discrimination to assist the public in understanding and addressing discrimination.

The Paycheck Fairness Act also establishes the National Award for Pay Equity in the workplace for an employer who has made a substantial effort to eliminate pay disparities between men and women. The US Secretary of Labor will establish the application procedure and presentation of the award at a later time.  

The Eight PA Reps Who Voted Against Paycheck Fairness

  • John Joyce (R-Blair)
  • Fred Keller (R-Snyder)
  • Mike Kelly (R-Butler)
  • Dan Meuser (R-Luzerne)
  • Scott Perry (R-York)
  • Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny)
  • Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) 
  • Glenn Thompson (R-Centre)

The Full Pennsylvania Roll Call

  • Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia) Yea
  • Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) Yea
  • Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) Yea
  • Mike Doyle (D-Allegheny) Yea
  • Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia) Yea
  • Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) Yea
  • Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester) Yea
  • John Joyce (R-Blair) Nay
  • Fred Keller (R-Snyder) Nay
  • Mike Kelly (R-Butler) Nay
  • Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny) Yea
  • Dan Meuser (R-Luzerne) Nay
  • Scott Perry (R-York) Nay
  • Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny) Nay
  • Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware) Yea
  • Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) Nay
  • Glenn Thompson (R-Centre) Nay
  • Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) Yea