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H.R. 2023 (105th): Paycheck Fairness Act


The text of the bill below is as of Jun 24, 1997 (Introduced).


HR 2023 IH

105th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2023

To amend the Equal Pay Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 24, 1997

Ms. DELAURO (for herself, Ms. NORTON, and Mr. GEPHARDT) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce


A BILL

To amend the Equal Pay Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Paycheck Fairness Act’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:

      (1) Women have entered the workforce in record numbers.

      (2) Even in the 1990s, women earn significantly lower pay than men for work on jobs that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility and that are performed under similar working conditions.

      (3) The existence of such pay disparities--

        (A) depresses the wages of working families who rely on the wages of all members of the family to make ends meet;

        (B) prevents the optimum utilization of available labor resources;

        (C) has been spread and perpetuated, through commerce and the channels and instrumentalities of commerce, among the workers of the several States;

        (D) burdens commerce and the free flow of goods in commerce;

        (E) constitutes an unfair method of competition in commerce;

        (F) leads to labor disputes burdening and obstructing commerce and the free flow of goods in commerce; and

        (G) interferes with the orderly and fair marketing of goods in commerce.

      (4)(A) Artificial barriers to the elimination of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex continue to exist more than 3 decades after the enactment of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.) and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000a et seq.).

      (B) Elimination of such barriers would have positive effects, including--

        (i) providing a solution to problems in the economy created by unfair pay disparities;

        (ii) substantially reducing the number of working women earning unfairly low wages, thereby reducing the dependence on public assistance; and

        (iii) promoting stable families by enabling all family members to earn a fair rate of pay.

      (5) Only with increased information about the provisions added by the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and generalized wage data, along with more effective remedies, will women recognize and enforce their rights to equal pay for work on jobs that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility and that are performed under similar working conditions.

      (6) Certain employers have already made great strides in eradicating unfair pay disparities in the workplace and their achievements should be recognized.

SEC. 3. ENHANCED ENFORCEMENT OF EQUAL PAY REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) NONRETALIATION PROVISION- Section 15(a)(3) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 215(a)(3)) is amended--

      (1) by striking ‘or has’ each place it appears and inserting ‘has’; and

      (2) by inserting before the semicolon the following: ‘, or has inquired about, discussed, or otherwise disclosed the wages of the employee or another employee’.

    (b) ENHANCED PENALTIES- Section 16(b) of such Act (29 U.S.C. 216(b)) is amended--

      (1) by inserting after the first sentence the following: ‘Any employer who violates section 6(d) shall additionally be liable for such compensatory or punitive damages as may be appropriate.’;

      (2) in the sentence beginning ‘An action to’, by striking ‘either of the preceding sentences’ and inserting ‘any of the preceding sentences of this subsection’;

      (3) in the sentence beginning ‘No employees shall’, by striking ‘No employees’ and inserting

‘Except with respect to class actions brought to enforce section 6(d), no employee’;

      (4) by inserting after such sentence the following: ‘Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law, any action brought to enforce section 6(d) may be maintained as a class action as provided by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.’; and

      (5) in the sentence beginning ‘The court in’--

        (A) by striking ‘in such action’ and inserting ‘in any action brought to recover the liability prescribed in any of the preceding sentences of this subsection’; and

        (B) by inserting before the period the following: ‘, including expert fees’.

    (c) ACTION- Section 16(c) of such Act (29 U.S.C. 216(c)) is amended--

      (1) in the first sentence--

        (A) by inserting ‘or, in the case of a violation of section 6(d), additional compensatory or punitive damages,’ before ‘and the agreement’; and

        (B) by inserting before the period the following: ‘, or such compensatory or punitive damages, as appropriate’;

      (2) in the second sentence, by inserting before the period the following: ‘and, in the case of a violation of section 6(d), additional compensatory or punitive damages’;

      (3) in the third sentence, by striking ‘the first sentence’ and inserting ‘the first or second sentence’; and

      (4) in the last sentence, by inserting after ‘in the complaint’ the following: ‘or becomes a party plaintiff in a class action brought to enforce section 6(d)’.

SEC. 4. COLLECTION OF PAY INFORMATION BY THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION.

    Section 705 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e-4) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(l)(1) The Commission shall, by regulation, require each employer who has 100 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year to maintain payroll records and to prepare and submit to the Commission reports containing information from the records. The reports shall contain pay information, analyzed by the race, sex, and national origin of the employees. The reports shall not disclose the pay information of an employee in a manner that permits the identification of the employee.

    ‘(2) The third through fifth sentences of section 709(c) shall apply to employers, regulations, and records described in paragraph (1) in the same manner and to the same extent as the sentences apply to employers, regulations, and records described in such section.’.

SEC. 5. TRAINING.

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, subject to the availability of funds appropriated under section 8(b), shall provide training to Commission employees and affected individuals and entities on matters involving discrimination in the payment of wages.

SEC. 6. RESEARCH, EDUCATION, AND OUTREACH.

    The Secretary of Labor shall conduct studies and provide information to employers, labor organizations, and the general public concerning the means available to eliminate pay disparities between men and women, including--

      (1) conducting and promoting research to develop the means to correct expeditiously the conditions leading to the pay disparities;

      (2) publishing and otherwise making available to employers, labor organizations, professional associations, educational institutions, the media, and the general public the findings resulting from studies and other materials, relating to eliminating the pay disparities;

      (3) sponsoring and assisting State and community informational and educational programs;

      (4) providing information to employers, labor organizations, professional associations, and other interested persons on the means of eliminating the pay disparities;

      (5) recognizing and promoting the achievements of employers, labor organizations, and professional associations that have worked to eliminate the pay disparities;

      (6) convening a national summit to discuss, and consider approaches for rectifying, the pay disparities; and

      (7) issuing to employers voluntary pay guidelines for the relative pay ranges of a selection of male- and female-dominated widely held occupations.

SEC. 7. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NATIONAL AWARD FOR PAY EQUITY IN THE WORKPLACE.

    (a) IN GENERAL- There is established the Robert Reich National Award for Pay Equity in the Workplace, which shall be evidenced by a medal bearing the inscription ‘Robert Reich National Award for Pay Equity in the

Workplace’. The medal shall be of such design and materials, and bear such additional inscriptions, as the Secretary may prescribe.

    (b) CRITERIA FOR QUALIFICATION- To qualify to receive an award under this section a business shall--

      (1) submit a written application to the Secretary, at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including at a minimum information that demonstrates that the business has made substantial effort to eliminate pay disparities between men and women, and deserves special recognition as a consequence; and

      (2) meet such additional requirements and specifications as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.

    (c) MAKING AND PRESENTATION OF AWARD-

      (1) AWARD- After receiving recommendations from the Secretary, the President or the designated representative of the President shall annually present the award described in subsection (a) to businesses that meet the qualifications described in subsection (b).

      (2) PRESENTATION- The President or the designated representative of the President shall present the award with such ceremonies as the President or the designated representative of the President may determine to be appropriate.

      (3) PUBLICITY- A business that receives an award under this section may publicize the receipt of the award and use the award in its advertising, if the business agrees to help other United States businesses improve with respect to the elimination of pay disparities between men and women.

    (d) BUSINESS- For the purposes of this section, the term ‘business’ includes--

      (1)(A) a corporation, including a nonprofit corporation;

      (B) a partnership;

      (C) a professional association;

      (D) a labor organization; and

      (E) a business entity similar to an entity described in any of subparagraphs (A) through (D);

      (2) an entity carrying out an education referral program, a training program, such as an apprenticeship or management training program, or a similar program; and

      (3) an entity carrying out a joint program, formed by a combination of any entities described in paragraph (1) or (2).

SEC. 8. INCREASED RESOURCES FOR ENFORCEMENT AND EDUCATION.

    (a) GENERAL RESOURCES-

      (1) EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, for necessary expenses of the Commission in carrying out title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.), title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12111 et seq.), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.), and section 6(d) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206(d)), $36,000,000, in addition to sums otherwise appropriated for such expenses. Any amounts so appropriated shall remain available until expended.

      (2) OFFICE OF FEDERAL CONTRACT COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs for necessary expenses of the Office $10,000,000 in addition to sums otherwise appropriated for such expenses. Any amounts so appropriated shall remain available until expended.

    (b) TARGETED RESOURCES-

      (1) EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to carry out section 5, $500,000, in addition to sums otherwise appropriated for providing training described in such section. Any amounts so appropriated shall remain available until expended.

      (2) OFFICE FEDERAL CONTRACT COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to carry out section 5, $500,000, in addition to sums otherwise appropriated for providing training described in such section. Any amounts so appropriated shall remain available until expended.

    (c) RESEARCH, EDUCATION, OUTREACH, AND NATIONAL AWARD- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Labor to carry out sections 6 and 7, $1,000,000. Any amounts so appropriated shall remain available until expended.