The Senate is scheduled to vote on Thursday on whether to approve The Paycheck Fairness Act (Senate Bill 182), which would require equal pay for women, and be an update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

Deborah Vagins, Legislative Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a co-chair of the National Paycheck Fairness Act Coalition, says in a blog posting on The Boston Globe that the Senate is “poised” to pass the bill, which has already passed the House. S. 182, she says, has bipartisan support, with 40 co-sponsors in the Senate.

According to Vagins, the Paycheck Fairness Act would do the following: “Give employees the legal tools they need to finally close the wage gap by, for example, requiring employers to demonstrate that wage differences between men and women doing the same work have a business justification; prohibiting retaliation against workers who inquire about their wages; and leveling the playing field by ensuring that women can obtain the same remedies as those subject to employment discrimination based on their race or national origin. The bill would also provide technical assistance to employers and provide important safeguards for small businesses.”

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in Sept. 2010 providing an industry-by-industry assessment of the gender wage gap among managers. The report also measured the gender wage gap among managers who have children and the resulting impact on family incomes. The report found that on average, women comprised 40% of managers in 2007, up just slightly from 39% in 2000, and earned 81 cents for every dollar earned by their male management peers, an increase of just two cents from 2000. The report also found mothers who are managers earned 79 cents for every dollar earned by fathers who are managers, unchanged from 2000.