Co-authored by Camille Olson and Gerald L. Maatman, Jr.

Paycheck Fairness Act did not survive a Senate vote today. Senate Republicans filibustered the bill and Democrats fell two votes short of the 60 needed to put it to an up-or-down vote.

As reported in our blog in a previous post, the plaintiffs’ class action bar is focusing on creation of new theories to attack pay and promotion decision-making by employers, and one key area of focus was the proposal on the Paycheck Fairness Act. The proposed legislation was designed to transform class action remedies in this context. The Paycheck Fairness Act had reintroduced in the Senate on September 14, 2010 and re-designated as S. 3772, formerly S. 182, 11th Cong. (2010).

Critics of the Paycheck Fairness Act, like Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), had predicted that it would lead to excessive litigation against the business community, thus endangering job creation and economic recovery. Others said that the fact that the bill would have limited employers’ basis for paying different wages was problematic.

We predict the efforts behind the proposal will not die a final death, and that future legislative efforts will be renewed on this front.