Apr 08 2014
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), announced today that they have filed an amendment, No. 2963, to the Paycheck Fairness Act that updates the 51-year-old Equal Pay Act and helps address the pay gap between men and women.
Their amendment includes a provision to prevent retaliation against employees who inquire about, or discuss, their salaries. It also reiterates current law banning sex discrimination and requiring employers to post a notice to employees as to their rights under both the 1963 Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The amendment consolidates existing duplicative job training programs and provides federal grants to states for the creation of industry-led partnerships aimed at getting workers underrepresented in particular industries the skills they need to compete.
Provision details are below:
- Prevents Retaliation Against Employees: Prohibits retaliation against employees who inquire about, discuss or disclose their salaries. Exempts those employees, such as human resources offices, whose responsibilities include keeping salary information confidential.
- Bans Discrimination and Requires Notification of Rights: Reinforces current law prohibiting pay discrimination based on gender and establishing the principle of equal pay for equal work; requires employers to post a notice to employees as to their rights under both the EPA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
- Addresses Opportunity Gap: Consolidates duplicative job training programs and provides federal grants to states for the creation of industry-led partnerships. This program is meant to provide women and men underrepresented in industries that report worker shortages with the skills they need to grow and compete. Such industries include manufacturing, energy, transportation and logistics, information technology, and health care. No new spending is appropriated.
Legislative text is available online by clicking HERE.
The senators released the following statements:
“As a strong supporter of equal pay for equal work, I am pleased to offer this proposal with my female Republican colleagues to combat pay discrimination in the workplace. Our solution is a reasonable, fact-based approach that equips women with the knowledge and tools they need to fight discrimination,” said Senator Fischer. “But we shouldn’t stop there. Women want good paying jobs; that means we need policies that promote actual economic growth and more job opportunities.”
“I believe strongly in the principle of equal pay for equal work, which is why I voted in favor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that strengthened a worker’s ability to seek legal recourse in discrimination cases,” said Senator Collins. “While there are strong anti-discrimination laws already in place that have prohibited gender-based wage discrimination for decades, our proposal is intended to help provide job-seekers and employees with the information needed to increase economic opportunities.”
“Discrimination has no place in the workplace. Workers should be paid based on their experience and qualifications, regardless of their gender,” said Senator Ayotte. “We’ve put together common sense proposals that both parties can support, and I hope the Majority Leader will allow a vote on our legislation, as well as other legislative proposals with bipartisan support that can help create better job prospects for both women and men.”
“Simply put: There is a pay gap between men and women,” said Senator Murkowski. “We need to do more to understand why, and address barriers to equal pay. This amendment is a step in that direction.”