Sen. Deb Fischer says she couldn’t vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act, because Senate leadership wouldn’t allow the Senate to debate changes to the bill.
Fischer agrees the issue is real for women.
“First of all, I think it is important for me to lend my voice in support of the important American principle of equal pay for equal work and that’s not a point for debate,” Fischer tells reporters during a conference call. “Since the passage of the Equal Pay Act and Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act, both of which passed with critical Republican support, women have made significant progress.”
Fischer, a Republican, says gender discrimination in the workplace remains a problem. But, Fischer says the bill introduced by Democrats placed too many restrictions on businesses and would have suppressed wages for both men and women.
Fischer insists the approach taken by Democrats has deep flaws.
“Rather than helping women in the workplace, the Democrats’ legislation takes away flexibility and it hurts merit-based pay,” according to Fischer. “You can’t get a raise for being a high-performing employee, male or female, if it’s mandated that everyone with the same job title makes the same salary and that was in the Democrats’ legislation.”
Fischer accuses the proposal of being long on regulation and short on solutions.
“The Democrat bill would also impose rigid pay scales that make it impossible for employees to enter private arrangements with their employers to meet both their needs,” Fischer says. “And this especially hurts women, because women value that flexibility in their work schedules so that they can have accommodations made to their life schedules.”
Fischer unsuccessfully pushed for an amendment to the bill that would have sent federal grants to the states to provide job training for employment in the growing sectors of the economy. Fischer says Senate leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, wouldn’t allow amendments to the bill.
AUDIO: Sen. Deb Fischer discusses the Paycheck Fairness Act. [5:30]