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Democrats Reward Trial Lawyers, Fail to Protect Workers, Limit Religious Freedom Protections

Today, Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) issued the following statement after Democrats advanced H.R. 7, Paycheck Fairness Act, H.R. 1065, Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and H.R. 1195, Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, through the Committee without any Republican amendments:
“Committee Republicans emphatically denounce unlawful discrimination and workplace violence of any kind. Republicans offered several commonsense amendments that would have protected religious liberty, provided both employees and employers protections during salary negotiations, and supported health care and social service workers as they continue to battle COVID-19 on the frontlines. Unfortunately, all three amendments were shot down, proving yet again that Democrats are fighting for flashy headlines and cheap political points, not the American people.”
Specifically, the Democrats’ legislation will:

  • Dramatically limit the ability of employers to defend against claims of discrimination based on pay disparities that result from legitimate factors;
  • Deny religious organizations protections that they currently receive under the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and
  • Force OSHA to issue an interim final rule within one year despite potentially devastating impacts on the health care industry, which is soon expected to be subject to additional burdensome OSHA regulations related to COVID-19.

 Committee Republicans offered commonsense proposals, but:

  • Democrats refused to protect employers from frivolous lawsuits and an almost impossible burden of proof.
  • Democrats failed to apply the Civil Rights Act religious protections to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, threatening the rights of religious organizations to make employment decisions that align with their faith.
  • Democrats shot down a proposal requiring OSHA to abide by proper rulemaking procedures and be responsive to public comment as they develop new regulations on workplace violence.


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