Equal pay for women and men doing the same job is "common sense," and Congress shouldn't play politics over the Paycheck Fairness Act, Sen. Joe Manchin said.
"I just hope the politics isn't played as usual, as you see so many times here in Washington. The bottom line is, it's far past due that we pass this. You would think it was common sense," the West Virginia Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday.
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President Barack Obama signed executive orders Tuesday that offered employment protections to women hired by federal contractors. The Paycheck Fairness Act would extend similar protections to employees in the private sector.
The proposed legislation would do much to "increase the quality of life" in his own home state, Manchin said. He maintained that in the workplace there wasn't "any room for discrimination in any way, shape, or form."
Some employers have expressed fear of litigation if information about the salaries of their employees was available for scrutiny, as the legislation would allow. Manchin said companies should not have worries with litigation, as long as they keep accurate documents.
"You can't hide behind litigation, you're afraid to do anything. If you do the right thing, and you have the right records and documents, and you can provide those, [employees] might not agree, but at least they will think they were treated fair, and you had a fair evaluation," he said.
Fear of litigation was not enough justification to prevent passage of the equal pay act before Congress, Manchin said. The bill's benefits were "worth the effort to move this forward," he said.
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