H. R. 1519
To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 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
April 13, 2011
Ms. DELAURO (for herself, Ms. PELOSI, Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California, Ms.
CASTOR of Florida, Mr. OLVER, Ms. NORTON, Mrs. CHRISTENSEN, Mr. TOWNS, Ms.
MOORE, Mrs. LOWEY, Ms. DEGETTE, Mr. RYAN of Ohio, Ms. BROWN of Florida, Mr.
MURPHY of Connecticut, Mr. ACKERMAN, Mr. WU, Mr. JACKSON of Illinois, Mr.
LANGEVIN, Mr. HEINRICH, Ms. BERKLEY, Ms. HANABUSA, Mr. RANGEL, Mrs. CAPPS,
Ms. RICHARDSON, Mr. VAN HOLLEN, Ms. TSONGAS, Mr. RUSH, Mr. GRIJALVA, Mr. LEVIN,
Mr. MORAN, Mr. VISCLOSKY, Ms. SUTTON, Mr. YARMUTH, Ms. BALDWIN, Mr. HIGGINS,
Mr. HASTINGS of Florida, Mr. LUJAN, Ms. SPEIER, Ms. WATERS, Ms. WOOLSEY, Mr.
SERRANO, Mr. HOLT, Mr. SARBANES, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. ISRAEL, Mr. NADLER, Mr.
SCHIFF, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Mr. SIRES, Mr. LOEBSACK, Mr. LEWIS of Georgia, Mrs.
DAVIS of California, Mr. COOPER, Mr. SCOTT of Virginia, Ms. CHU, Mr. DINGELL,
Mr. GONZALEZ, Mr. BRALEY of Iowa, Mr. MCGOVERN, Mr. PETERS, Mr. LYNCH, Mr.
CONNOLLY of Virginia, Ms. CLARKE of New York, Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia, Mr.
PALLONE, Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD, Mr. HINOJOSA, Mr. ROTHMAN of New Jersey, Mr. BRADY
of Pennsylvania, Ms. MCCOLLUM, Mr. DOGGETT, Mr. CARDOZA, Mr. GENE GREEN of
Texas, Mr. CICILLINE, Mr. SHERMAN, Mr. FILNER, Ms. MATSUI, Mr. LARSON of Connecticut,
Mr. AL GREEN of Texas, Mr. GUTIERREZ, Ms. BASS of California, Ms. SCHAKOWSKY,
Mr. DOYLE, Ms. HIRONO, Mr. DEFAZIO, Mr. BOSWELL, Mr. CARSON of Indiana, Mr.
POLIS, Mr. FARR, Mr. REYES, Ms. KAPTUR, Mrs. NAPOLITANO, Mr. TIERNEY, Mr.
ELLISON, Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Mr. BUTTERFIELD, Mr. BACA, Mr. CLARKE of Michigan,
Ms. SEWELL, Mr. MICHAUD, Ms. SCHWARTZ, Mr. STARK, Mr. KIND, Mr. KILDEE, Mr.
THOMPSON of Mississippi, Mr. CROWLEY, Mr. THOMPSON of California, Ms. ZOE
LOFGREN of California, Mr. BERMAN, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, Ms. BORDALLO,
Mr. COURTNEY, Mr. HIMES, Mr. HOYER, Mrs. MALONEY, Mr. FATTAH, Ms. LORETTA
SANCHEZ of California, Mr. WALZ of Minnesota, Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA, Ms. LEE of
California, Ms. LINDA T. SANCHEZ of California, Mr. COSTELLO, Mr. BISHOP of
New York, Mr. CARNAHAN, Mr. WAXMAN, Mr. KUCINICH, Mr. DAVIS of Illinois, Mr.
PRICE of North Carolina, Mr. BLUMENAUER, Mr. PASCRELL, Mr. MCNERNEY, Mr. HINCHEY,
Mr. BECERRA, Mrs. MCCARTHY of New York, Mr. RICHMOND, Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas,
Mr. CUMMINGS, Mr. ENGEL, Mr. WELCH, Mr. MARKEY, Ms. ESHOO, Mr. CLYBURN, Mr.
TONKO, Mr. PERLMUTTER, Ms. FUDGE, Mr. COHEN, Mr. NEAL, Mr. DAVID SCOTT of
Georgia, Ms. SLAUGHTER, Mr. CAPUANO, Mr. BOREN, Ms. WILSON of Florida, Mr.
LIPINSKI, Mr. WATT, Ms. VELAZQUEZ, Mr. RAHALL, Mr. PASTOR of Arizona, Mr.
PAYNE, Mr. ANDREWS, Mr. WEINER, Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas, Mr. CLAY,
Mr. CLEAVER, Mr. ALTMIRE, Mr. KEATING, Ms. PINGREE of Maine, Mr. GARAMENDI,
and Ms. EDWARDS) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the
Committee on Education and the Workforce
To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 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 over the past 50
(2) Despite the enactment of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, many women continue
to earn significantly lower pay than men for equal work. These pay disparities
exist in both the private and governmental sectors. In many instances, the
pay disparities can only be due to continued intentional discrimination
or the lingering effects of past discrimination.
(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) undermines women's retirement security, which is often based on earnings
while in the workforce;
(C) prevents the optimum utilization of available labor resources;
(D) has been spread and perpetuated, through commerce and the channels
and instrumentalities of commerce, among the workers of the several States;
(E) burdens commerce and the free flow of goods in commerce;
(F) constitutes an unfair method of competition in commerce;
(G) leads to labor disputes burdening and obstructing commerce and the
free flow of goods in commerce;
(H) interferes with the orderly and fair marketing of goods in commerce;
(I) in many instances, may deprive workers of equal protection on the
basis of sex in violation of the 5th and 14th Amendments.
(4)(A) Artificial barriers to the elimination of discrimination in the payment
of wages on the basis of sex continue to exist 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) These barriers have resulted, in significant part, because the Equal
Pay Act has not worked as Congress originally intended. Improvements and
modifications to the law are necessary to ensure that the Act provides effective
protection to those subject to pay discrimination on the basis of their
(C) Elimination of such barriers would have positive effects, including--
(i) providing a solution to problems in the economy created by unfair
(ii) substantially reducing the number of working women earning unfairly
low wages, thereby reducing the dependence on public assistance;
(iii) promoting stable families by enabling all family members to earn
a fair rate of pay;
(iv) remedying the effects of past discrimination on the basis of sex
and ensuring that in the future workers are afforded equal protection
on the basis of sex; and
(v) ensuring equal protection pursuant to Congress' power to enforce the
5th and 14th Amendments.
(5) The Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
have important and unique responsibilities to help ensure that women receive
equal pay for equal work.
(6) The Department of Labor is responsible for--
(A) collecting and making publicly available information about women's
(B) ensuring that companies receiving Federal contracts comply with anti-discrimination
affirmative action requirements of Executive Order 11246 (relating to
equal employment opportunity);
(C) disseminating information about women's rights in the workplace;
(D) helping women who have been victims of pay discrimination obtain a
(E) being proactive in investigating and prosecuting equal pay violations,
especially systemic violations, and in enforcing all of its mandates.
(7) The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the primary enforcement
agency for claims made under the Equal Pay Act, and issues regulations and
guidance on appropriate interpretations of the law.
(8) With a stronger commitment by the Department of Labor and the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission to their responsibilities, increased information
as a result of the amendments made by this Act to the Equal Pay Act of 1963,
wage data, and more effective remedies, women will be better able to recognize
and enforce their rights.
(9) 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) Bona-Fide Factor Defense and Modification of Same Establishment Requirement-
Section 6(d)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206(d)(1))
(1) by striking `No employer having' and inserting `(A) No employer having';
(2) by striking `any other factor other than sex' and inserting `a bona
fide factor other than sex, such as education, training, or experience';
(3) by inserting at the end the following:
`(B) The bona fide factor defense described in subparagraph (A)(iv) shall
apply only if the employer demonstrates that such factor (i) is not based
upon or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation; (ii) is job-related
with respect to the position in question; and (iii) is consistent with business
necessity. Such defense shall not apply where the employee demonstrates that
an alternative employment practice exists that would serve the same business
purpose without producing such differential and that the employer has refused
to adopt such alternative practice.
`(C) For purposes of subparagraph (A), employees shall be deemed to work in
the same establishment if the employees work for the same employer at workplaces
located in the same county or similar political subdivision of a State. The
preceding sentence shall not be construed as limiting broader applications
of the term `establishment' consistent with rules prescribed or guidance issued
by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.'.
(b) Nonretaliation Provision- Section 15 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of
1938 (29 U.S.C. 215(a)(3)) is amended--
(1) in subsection (a)(3), by striking `employee has filed' and all that
follows and inserting `employee--
`(A) has made a charge or filed any complaint or instituted or caused
to be instituted any investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action under
or related to this Act, including an investigation conducted by the employer,
or has testified or is planning to testify or has assisted or participated
in any manner in any such investigation, proceeding, hearing or action,
or has served or is planning to serve on an industry Committee; or
`(B) has inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the wages of the employee
or another employee.'; and
(2) by adding at the end the following:
`(c) Subsection (a)(3)(B) shall not apply to instances in which an employee
who has access to the wage information of other employees as a part of such
employee's essential job functions discloses the wages of such other employees
to individuals who do not otherwise have access to such information, unless
such disclosure is in response to a complaint or charge or in furtherance
of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action under section 6(d), including
an investigation conducted by the employer. Nothing in this subsection shall
be construed to limit the rights of an employee provided under any other provision
(c) Enhanced Penalties- Section 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
(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
damages, or, where the employee demonstrates that the employer acted with
malice or reckless indifference, punitive damages as may be appropriate,
except that the United States shall not be liable for punitive damages.';
(2) in the sentence beginning `An action to', by striking `either of the
preceding sentences' and inserting `any of the preceding sentences of this
(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 the sentence referred to in paragraph (3), 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
(d) Action by Secretary- Section 16(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of
1938 (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, as described in subsection (b),' 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, as described in subsection (b)';
(3) in the third sentence, by striking `the first sentence' and inserting
`the first or second sentence'; and
(4) in the last sentence--
(A) by striking `commenced in the case' and inserting `commenced--
(B) by striking the period and inserting `; or'; and
(C) by adding at the end the following:
`(2) in the case of a class action brought to enforce section 6(d), on the
date on which the individual becomes a party plaintiff to the class action.'.
SEC. 4. TRAINING.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract
Compliance Programs, subject to the availability of funds appropriated under
section 10, shall provide training to Commission employees and affected individuals
and entities on matters involving discrimination in the payment of wages.
SEC. 5. NEGOTIATION SKILLS TRAINING FOR GIRLS AND WOMEN.
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Labor, after consultation with the Secretary
of Education, is authorized to establish and carry out a grant program.
(2) GRANTS- In carrying out the program, the Secretary of Labor may make
grants on a competitive basis to eligible entities, to carry out negotiation
skills training programs for girls and women.
(3) ELIGIBLE ENTITIES- To be eligible to receive a grant under this subsection,
an entity shall be a public agency, such as a State, a local government
in a metropolitan statistical area (as defined by the Office of Management
and Budget), a State educational agency, or a local educational agency,
a private nonprofit organization, or a community-based organization.
(4) APPLICATION- To be eligible to receive a grant under this subsection,
an entity shall submit an application to the Secretary of Labor at such
time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary of
Labor may require.
(5) USE OF FUNDS- An entity that receives a grant under this subsection
shall use the funds made available through the grant to carry out an effective
negotiation skills training program that empowers girls and women. The training
provided through the program shall help girls and women strengthen their
negotiation skills to allow the girls and women to obtain higher salaries
and rates of compensation that are equal to those paid to similarly situated
(b) Incorporating Training Into Existing Programs- The Secretary of Labor
and the Secretary of Education shall issue regulations or policy guidance
that provides for integrating the negotiation skills training, to the extent
practicable, into programs authorized under--
(1) in the case of the Secretary of Education, the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.), the Carl D. Perkins Vocational
and Technical Education Act of 1998 (20 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.), the Higher
Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.), and other programs carried
out by the Department of Education that the Secretary of Education determines
to be appropriate; and
(2) in the case of the Secretary of Labor, the Workforce Investment Act
of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2801 et seq.), and other programs carried out by the
Department of Labor that the Secretary of Labor determines to be appropriate.
(c) Report- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act,
and annually thereafter, the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Education
shall prepare and submit to Congress a report describing the activities conducted
under this section and evaluating the effectiveness of such activities in
achieving the purposes of this Act.
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
(4) providing information to employers, labor organizations, professional
associations, and other interested persons on the means of eliminating the
(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.
SEC. 7. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NATIONAL AWARD FOR PAY EQUITY IN THE WORKPLACE.
(a) In General- There is established the Secretary of Labor's National Award
for Pay Equity in the Workplace, which shall be awarded, as appropriate, to
encourage proactive efforts to comply with section 6(d) of the Fair Labor
Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206(d)).
(b) Criteria for Qualification- The Secretary of Labor shall set criteria
for receipt of the award, including a requirement that an employer has made
substantial effort to eliminate pay disparities between men and women, and
deserves special recognition as a consequence of such effort. The Secretary
shall establish procedures for the application and presentation of the award.
(c) Business- In this section, the term `employer' includes--
(1)(A) a corporation, including a nonprofit corporation;
(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;
(3) an entity carrying out a joint program, formed by a combination of any
entities described in paragraph (1) or (2).
SEC. 8. COLLECTION OF PAY INFORMATION BY THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
Section 709 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e-8) is amended
by adding at the end the following:
`(f)(1) Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this subsection,
the Commission shall--
`(A) complete a survey of the data that is currently available to the Federal
Government relating to employee pay information for use in the enforcement
of Federal laws prohibiting pay discrimination and, in consultation with
other relevant Federal agencies, identify additional data collections that
will enhance the enforcement of such laws; and
`(B) based on the results of the survey and consultations under subparagraph
(A), issue regulations to provide for the collection of pay information
data from employers as described by the sex, race, and national origin of
`(2) In implementing paragraph (1), the Commission shall have as its primary
consideration the most effective and efficient means for enhancing the enforcement
of Federal laws prohibiting pay discrimination. For this purpose, the Commission
shall consider factors including the imposition of burdens on employers, the
frequency of required reports (including which employers should be required
to prepare reports), appropriate protections for maintaining data confidentiality,
and the most effective format for the data collection reports.'.
SEC. 9. REINSTATEMENT OF PAY EQUITY PROGRAMS AND PAY EQUITY DATA COLLECTION.
(a) Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Collection- The Commissioner of Labor
Statistics shall continue to collect data on women workers in the Current
Employment Statistics survey.
(b) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Initiatives- The Director
of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs shall ensure that employees
of the Office--
(1)(A) shall use the full range of investigatory tools at the Office's disposal,
including pay grade methodology;
(B) in considering evidence of possible compensation discrimination--
(i) shall not limit its consideration to a small number of types of evidence;
(ii) shall not limit its evaluation of the evidence to a small number
of methods of evaluating the evidence; and
(C) shall not require a multiple regression analysis or anecdotal evidence
for a compensation discrimination case;
(2) for purposes of its investigative, compliance, and enforcement activities,
shall define `similarly situated employees' in a way that is consistent
with and not more stringent than the definition provided in item 1 of subsection
A of section 10-III of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Compliance
Manual (2000), and shall consider only factors that the Office's investigation
reveals were used in making compensation decisions; and
(3) shall reinstate the Equal Opportunity Survey, as required by section
60-2.18 of title 41, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on September
7, 2006), designating not less than half of all nonconstruction contractor
establishments each year to prepare and file such survey, and shall review
and utilize the responses to such survey to identify contractor establishments
for further evaluation and for other enforcement purposes as appropriate.
(c) Department of Labor Distribution of Wage Discrimination Information- The
Secretary of Labor shall make readily available (in print, on the Department
of Labor website, and through any other forum that the Department may use
to distribute compensation discrimination information), accurate information
on compensation discrimination, including statistics, explanations of employee
rights, historical analyses of such discrimination, instructions for employers
on compliance, and any other information that will assist the public in understanding
and addressing such discrimination.
SEC. 10. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(a) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated
$15,000,000 to carry out this Act.
(b) Prohibition on Earmarks- None of the funds appropriated pursuant to subsection
(a) for purposes of the grant program in section 5 of this Act may be used
for a congressional earmark as defined in clause 9(d) of rule XXI of the Rules
of the House of Representatives.
SEC. 11. SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE.
(a) Effective Date- This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take
effect on the date that is 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act.
(b) Technical Assistance Materials- The Secretary of Labor and the Commissioner
of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shall jointly develop technical
assistance material to assist small businesses in complying with the requirements
of this Act and the amendments made by this Act.
(c) Small Businesses- A small business shall be exempt from the provisions
of this Act to the same extent that such business is exempt from the requirements
of the Fair Labor Standards Act pursuant to section 3(s)(1)(A) (i) and (ii)
of such Act.
SEC. 12. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.
Nothing in this Act, or in any amendments made by this Act, shall affect the
obligation of employers and employees to fully comply with all applicable
immigration laws, including any penalties, fines, or other sanctions.