The United States House of Representatives recently voted 'yes' to H.R. 7. The bill, known as the Paycheck Fairness Act, is an amendment to the 1963 Equal Pay Act. The updated version of the bill extends awards for claims of unequal pay, limits affirmative defense capabilities of employers, and makes it unlawful for companies to establish rules preventing employees from discussing salaries.
The Paycheck Fairness Act currently awaits a vote from the Senate.
What the Paycheck Fairness Act Would Do
The current version of the Equal Pay Act allows wage disparity for similar work performed if an employer attributes the pay gap to a reason other than gender. The Paycheck Fairness Act would narrow this loophole by requiring the stated factor for the wage disparity to be directly related to the job being performed, relative to the position held, fully responsible for the difference in pay, and consistent with the needs of the company. The Fairness act also stipulates the difference in pay must not be based on existing differences based on sex.
Responding to Gender-Based Wage Discrimination
The pending vote from the Senate regarding the Paycheck Fairness Act adds fluidity and a bit of uncertainty to the issue of gender-based wage discrimination. However, the issue of pay equity is gaining ground with federal lawmakers and similar bills are likely to be drafted by state legislators.
Issues regarding pay equity are complex matters and companies should understand how this might affect their employees.
You can consult with one of the many skilled attorneys at Fortis Law Partners by calling 303-295-9700. You can also use this online contact form to receive a consultation.