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Title: Paycheck Fairness Act
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote on a motion to invoke cloture on a bill that prohibits workplace discrimination based on gender and authorizes studies on discrimination.
- Authorizes employers to pay different wages to employees performing the same job based on the factors of education, training, or experience if the following apply (Sec. 3):
- The factor is not based upon or derived from a gender-based differential in compensation;
- The factor is job-related with respect to the position in question; and
- The factor is consistent with business necessity.
- Prohibits discharging or otherwise discriminating against an employee because of the following (Sec. 3):
- Has made a charge or filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, 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
- Has inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the wages of the employee or another employee, unless the employee did so to another employee who does not otherwise have access to that information and does not need access for an investigation or complaint.
- Specifies that any employer found to be discriminating against employees based on gender is liable for compensation, and that any employer besides the United States who is demonstrated to have acted with malice or reckless indifference is liable for appropriate punitive damages (Sec. 3).
- Authorizes employees to become plaintiffs in class action lawsuits against an employer base on gender discrimination without having to present consent in court (Sec. 3).
- Requires the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to provide training to their employees and affected individuals and entities on wage discrimination (Sec. 4).
- Authorizes the Secretary of Labor, after consulting the Secretary of Education, to establish and carry out grants for negotiation skills programs for girls and women to allow them to obtain higher salaries and rates of compensation equal to male employees in similar situations (Sec. 5).
- Requires the Secretary of Labor to conduct studies and provide information to employers, labor organizations, and the general public about the means available to eliminate pay disparities between men and women, including but not limited to the following (Sec. 6):
- Conducting and promoting research to develop the means to correct expeditiously the conditions leading to the pay disparities;
- Sponsoring and assisting State and community informational and educational programs;
- Providing information to employers, labor organizations, professional associations, and other interested persons on the means of eliminating the pay disparities;
- Recognizing and promoting the achievements of employers, labor organizations, and professional associations that have worked to eliminate the pay disparities; and
- Convening a national summit to discuss, and consider approaches for rectifying, the pay disparities.
- Establishes the Secretary of Labor's National Award for Pay Equity in the Workplace to award to encourage special effort towards elimination of pay disparities between men and women (Sec. 7).
- Requires the Civil Rights Commission to complete a survey of data currently available to the federal government on employee pay for use in enforcing laws against pay discrimination and identifying additional data collections that will enhance the enforcement of such laws, and issue regulations to provide for the collection of that additional data (Sec. 8).
- Requires the Commissioner of Labor Statistics to continue to collect data on women workers in the Current Employment Statistics survey (Sec. 9).
- Requires the director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to ensure that employees of the office do the following (Sec. 9):
- Use the full range of investigatory tools at the Office’s disposal, including pay grade methodology;
- Not limit its consideration to a small number of types of evidence or limit its evaluation of the evidence to a small number of methods of evaluating the evidence in considering evidence of possible compensation discrimination; and
- Reinstate the Equal Opportunity Survey.
- Requires the Secretary of Labor to make readily available accurate information on compensation discrimination, including statistics, explanations of employee rights, historical analyses of discrimination, instructions for employees on compliance, and any other information that will assist the public in understand and addressing discrimination (Sec. 9).
- Appropriates $15 million for carrying out the provisions of this act (Sec. 10).
- Prohibits appropriations for girls and women negotiation skills training grants from being taken for congressional earmarks (Sec. 10).
- Specifies that the provisions of this act will go into effect 6 months after its enactment (Sec. 11).
More Info About this Vote
NOTE: THIS IS A VOTE TO INVOKE CLOTURE ON A MOTION TO PROCEED, WHICH SENDS THE LEGISLATION TO THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE FOR DEBATE AND AMENDMENT. A MOTION TO PROCEED ALONE REQUIRES A MAJORITY FOR APPROVAL. HOWEVER, THE MOTION CAN BE FILIBUSTERED, AND WHEN THIS OCCURS, A CLOTURE VOTE IS NECESSARY TO VOTE ON THE MOTION TO PROCEED. A THREE-FIFTHS MAJORITY OF THE SENATE IS NECESSARY TO INVOKE CLOTURE.