• To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes.

o This bill or resolution was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on July 31, 2008 but was never passed by the Senate. [1]

• The Paycheck Fairness Act is legislation being considered by the United States Congress to expand the scope of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Fair Labor Standards Act as part of an effort to address male–female income disparity in the United States.

o The Paycheck Fairness Act is a much-needed update of the 45-year-old Equal Pay Act, closing longstanding loopholes and strengthening incentives to prevent pay discrimination.

• The bill being considered would make it easier for those who are the targets of wage discrimination to address the issue, allowing employees to disclose salary information with co-workers despite workplace rules prohibiting disclosure.

o Employers would be required to show that any wage discrepancies are based on genuine business requirements and are related to specific characteristics of the position that are not based on gender.

o The bill would prohibit retaliation by companies against individuals who raise wage-parity issues, provide resources to help women develop their negotiating skills and would include further research to understand the lingering causes of wage discrepancies between men and women.


o Close a loophole in affirmative defenses for employers
• The legislation clarifies acceptable reasons for differences in pay by requiring employers to demonstrate that wage gaps between men and women doing the same work have a business justification and are truly a result of factors other than sex.

o Fix the “Establishment” Requirement
• The bill would clarify the establishment provision under the Equal Pay Act, which would allow for reasonable comparisons between employees within clearly defined geographical areas to determine fair wages.

o Prohibit Employer Retaliation
• The legislation would deter wage discrimination by prohibiting retaliation against workers who inquire about employers’ wage practices or disclose their own wages.

o Improve Equal Pay Remedies
• The bill would deter wage discrimination by strengthening penalties for equal pay violations.
• Women would be provided the option to proceed in an opt-out class action suit under the Equal Pay Act, and allowed to receive punitive and compensatory damages for pay discrimination.
• The bill’s measured approach levels the playing field, ensuring that women can obtain the same remedies as those subject to discrimination on the basis of race or national origin.

o Increase Training, Research and Education
• The legislation would authorize additional training for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission staff to better identify and handle wage disputes.
• It would also aid in the efficient and effective enforcement of federal anti-pay discrimination laws by requiring the EEOC to develop regulations directing employers to collect wage data reported by the race, sex and national origin of employees.
• The bill would also require the U.S. Department of Labor to reinstate activities that promote equal pay, such as: directing educational programs, providing technical assistance to employers, recognizing businesses that address the wage gap, and conducting and promoting research about pay disparities between men and women.

o Establish Salary Negotiation Skills-Training
• The bill would create a competitive grant program to develop salary negotiation training for women and girls.

o Improve Collection of Pay Information
• The bill would also reinstate the Equal Opportunity Survey.
• The Survey would enable targeting of the Labor Department’s enforcement efforts by requiring all federal contractors to submit data on employment practices such as hiring, promotions, terminations and pay.
• This survey, first used in 2000, was developed over two decades and three presidential administrations, but was rescinded by the Department of Labor in 2006.


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