10:53 AM EST

John Conyers Jr., D-MI 13th

Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers). [Page: H192]

The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.

10:53 AM EST

Gwen Moore, D-WI 4th

Ms. MOORE. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

The CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Wisconsin will be postponed.



The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 6 printed in House Report 114-389.

10:54 AM EST

Hank Johnson Jr., D-GA 4th

Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Madam Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Line 10 on the first page, strike ``and scope''.

Line 8 on the first page, strike ``or economic loss''.

The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 581, the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Johnson) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman.

10:54 AM EST

Gwen Moore, D-WI 4th

Ms. MOORE. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would exempt pay equity lawsuits arising from title VII of the Civil Rights Act or the Equal Pay Act.

Today, the wage gap for women is a very real experience, not only for those women, but for families in the United States workforce. According to the National Women's Law Center, the gender wage gap amounts to over $10,000 a year in median income.

But this bill, H.R. 1927, takes away one of the only effective tools that women in the workplace have to narrow the wage gap. That is through class action suits filed under title VII of the Civil Rights Act or the Equal Pay Act. This bill would, to borrow Judge Posner's term, really drive a stake through the heart of the Equal Pay Act or the Civil Rights Act.

This bill will make it harder to certify members of a class in pay equity [Page: H194]

cases because each detail relating to the type and scope of the damage is often unique to the woman who was injured. For example, a woman involved in a class could have a different type of job, different number of years working for a company, different wages, different benefits, and if the company is discriminating against all women, across all the job categories, they would not

be certified as a class unless they made exactly the same pay, worked there exactly the same number of years, which, Mr. Chairman, is ludicrous.

This bill would also make it harder for women in pay equity cases because, at the certification stage, women wouldn't have the same information about each other to know whether or not they could be in the same class.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

10:56 AM EST

Blake Randolph Farenthold, R-TX 27th

Mr. FARENTHOLD. Mr. Chairman, again, we get back to the argument, as you start to exempt certain groups or certain types of lawsuits, it creates the same situation we have now that we are trying to fix in that class where those mostly injured get the most compensation and those only marginally injured are compensated accordingly.

I think part of where the other side has a little misunderstanding of the bill is I keep hearing the word ``exact.'' It is not the exact same injury. The bill requires that class members share the same scope of injury, which is intended to prevent certification of grossly overbroad class action lawsuits that include members with wildly varying injury.

The dictionary and ordinary meaning of ``scope'' is the range of a relevant subject. Judges are certainly capable of determining relevant range of injuries that would make class members suitably typical of one another. I think this could happen in all cases and actually probably more so in these equal pay type of cases if the scope of the injury is being paid less.

Again, I think common sense is going to dictate. As we have seen historically, the vast majority of the times our Federal Court systems get it right. There are few notable exceptions, but that is beyond the scope of this argument.

I would urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment, this exception, to a great piece of legislation that is designed to make our class action system fair and make sure those who are the most injured are the most compensated.

I reserve the balance of my time.