Did the Republicans vote to prohibit employers from paying women equally? Or to not pay women equally in public service, where the government determines the pay rates? Such votes would be against equal pay for women.
No. The bill in question would have allowed employees to share salary information, even when such information is confidential. It would have also required employers to be able to prove at court that their compensation decisions are not discriminatory:
The bill would state that the bona fide factor defense shall apply only if the employer demonstrates that such factor: (1) is not based upon or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation, (2) is job-related with respect to the position in question, and (3) is consistent with business necessity. Makes such defense inapplicable where the employee demonstrates that: (1) an alternative employment practice exists that would serve the same business purpose without producing such differential, and (2) the employer has refused to adopt such alternative practice.
In other words, when you’re accused of discrimination, you are guilty until proven innocent. This isn’t a big deal for a huge company such as Microsoft with lawyers on staff. It is a huge problem for small companies that don’t have written policies for such business decisions.
Not supporting a law that allows people to be sued for not doing something doesn’t mean you don’t support that thing – it means you do not think the power of the state should be brought to bear against people accused of not doing it.