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H.R. 2243 (117th): Fair Pay Act of 2021

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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 Aug 27, 2021.

Fair Pay Act of 2021

This bill requires employers to provide equal pay to employees for comparable or equivalent work.

Specifically, employers may not discriminate against employees on the basis of sex, race, or national origin with respect to payment of wages or other conditions of employment for jobs that, although dissimilar, the requirements of which are equivalent, when viewed as a composite of skills, effort, responsibility, and working conditions. However, employers may pay different wages in accordance with seniority systems, merit systems, systems that measure earnings by quantity or quality of production, or factors that the employer demonstrates are reasonably job-related, or further legitimate business interests. The bill allows compensatory or punitive damages for violations of this prohibition.

The bill prohibits an employer from (1) discriminating against any individual who opposes any act or practice made illegal by this bill or for assisting in an investigation, or (2) discharging or discriminating against any employee who inquires about or discusses another employee's wages.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission must assist employers, labor organizations, and the general public in implementing these provisions.