On April 15, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7) by a 217-210 vote. The legislation, if enacted, would require employers to prove that pay disparities between men and women are job-related, among other provisions.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., reintroduced the bill in January. It has been reintroduced many times since 1997 but has failed to pass both chambers of Congress. The bill would, among other provisions:
- Require employers to show that pay disparities between men and women are job-related and consistent with business necessity.
- Make it easier for plaintiffs to participate in class-action lawsuits that challenge systemic pay discrimination.
- Strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) and provide greater remedies for prevailing plaintiffs.
- Prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their salary history or relying on salary history to set compensation. But an employer could use a prospective employee's wage history if the employer makes a job offer and the applicant reveals his or her salary is more than the proposed salary. The employer could then increase the salary offer.
- Prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who discuss their pay with co-workers. The National Labor Relations Act already gives employees the right to discuss their pay.