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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 4, 2017.
Paycheck Fairness Act
This bill amends equal pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to: (1) restrict the use of the bona fide factor defense to wage discrimination claims, (2) enhance nonretaliation provisions, (3) make it unlawful to require an employee to sign a contract or waiver prohibiting the employee from disclosing information about the employee's wages, and (4) increase civil penalties for violations of equal pay provisions.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs shall train EEOC employees and other affected parties on wage discrimination matters. The bill directs the Department of Labor to: (1) establish and carry out a grant program for negotiation skills training for girls and women, (2) conduct studies to eliminate pay disparities between men and women, and (3) make available information on wage discrimination to assist the public in understanding and addressing such discrimination. The Secretary of Labor's National Award for Pay Equity in the Workplace is established for an employer who has made a substantial effort to eliminate pay disparities between men and women. This bill amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to require the EEOC to issue regulations for collecting from employers compensation and other employment data according to sex, race, and national origin of employees for use in enforcing laws prohibiting pay discrimination.