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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 Mar 27, 2019.
Paycheck Fairness Act
This bill addresses wage discrimination on the basis of sex. It 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 prohibitions, (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. The bill directs the Department of Labor to (1) establish and carry out a grant program for negotiation skills training programs to address pay disparities, including through outreach to women and girls; (2) conduct studies to eliminate pay disparities between men and women; (3) report on the gender pay gap in the teenage labor workforce; and (4) 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. The bill requires the EEOC to issue regulations for collecting from employers compensation and other employment data according to the sex, race, and ethnic identity of employees for use in enforcing laws prohibiting pay discrimination. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shall continue collecting data on women workers in the Current Employment Statistics survey. The bill sets forth prohibitions and requirements regarding the wage history of prospective employees.