The 111th Congress wasted no time signaling its intention to enact employment law legislation that dramatically favors employees.

Just days after taking their oaths of office, members of the House of Representatives passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act—two bills proponents say deliver on the promise of equal pay for equal work.

Business groups that oppose the bills say they promise something far less benign: Higher employer costs, compliance headaches—and fat paychecks for the attorneys representing employees.

The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed the House 247-171, while the Paycheck Fairness Act passed 256-163. Both move on to the Senate, which may vote on the measures this week. A strong Democratic majority in the Senate makes passage likely.

President-elect Barack Obama has previously said he would sign the bills.

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

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