On November 17, 2010, the Cloture Motion to proceed with the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Senate failed 58-41. In other words, a petition for cloture (or, a request to proceed with limited debate on the legislation) was before the Senate regarding the Paycheck Fairness Act. To proceed, a petition for cloture requires a 2/3 majority, or 60 senators voting in favor. With a vote of 58-41, the motion failed.
The Paycheck Fairness Act is a significant piece of employment legislation that, if passed, would allow for the unlimited recovery of compensatory and punitive damages under the Equal Pay Act, increase the likelihood of class action lawsuits by making workers automatically part of a class unless they opt out, and would amend the “any factor other than sex” affirmative defense for employers. The Act has garnered support from civil rights groups and the Obama admininstration, and opposition by the business community.