Republican senator introduces alternative to Paycheck Fairness Act

The Paycheck Fairness Act, backed by Democrats, creates a federal grant program to improve salary negotiating skills for women as well as aims to strengthen protections for women filing gender discrimination lawsuits concerning salaries.

"Let me be clear, pay discrimination based on gender is unacceptable," Heller said Tuesday. "Despite the political rhetoric around here, everyone agrees on this fact. The question is, will Paycheck Fairness Act actually address workplace inequality? And the simple answer is no."

Both the Paycheck Fairness Act and and Heller's legislation would protect women who are trying to find out if they are being discriminated against based on their gender. The Paycheck Act also allows the federal government to collect salary information to monitor possible pay discrimination. Heller's bill does not include that provision. Both bills outlaw firing an employee for inquiring about salaries to determine gender discrimination.

Heller said the Democrats' act would hurt employers and only help trial lawyers.

"Unfortunately, the only winners with this legislation would be trial lawyers, giving them a windfall exposing employers to unemployed punitive damages," Heller said. "This legislation opens the door to frivolous lawsuits which already costs our economy billions of dollars per year."

The End Pay Discrimination Act would strengthen protections for women without benefiting trial lawyers and hurting the economy, Heller said.

"Congress can strengthen the Equal Pay Act without handing trial lawyers a blank check," Heller said.