Sending Office: Honorable Stephen Knight
Sent By:
Chris.Jusuf@mail.house.gov

 

Request for Cosponsor(s)

June 7, 2017

Dear Colleague,

I invite you to cosponsor of H.R. 1890, the Workplace Advancement Act, which would reinforce and strengthen equal pay laws and protect employees who seek or share wage information.

Current U.S. law clearly states that it is unlawful to discriminate pay based on sex, race, religion, or otherwise. Equal pay for equal work is a basic American value that is in everyone’s interest, and we must improve and enforce our laws preventing workplace
discrimination. It is in the best interest of our nation that each individual have the same opportunity to work and thrive based on their ability to contribute value to the workforce. While the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act outlines the framework that employers
must follow, employees were left without the protections they needed to seek corrections to workplace violations.

The Workplace Advancement Act would empower individuals to negotiate their salaries more effectively by preventing retaliation against employees who inquire about or discuss workplace salaries. It would also reaffirm Congressional commitment to the the Equal
Pay Act and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, existing laws that ban gender discrimination.

For more information or to cosponsor, please contact Megan Zavertnik in my office at
megan.zavertnik@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Steve Knight

Member of Congress

COSPONSOR: H.R. 1890, The Workplace Advancement Act

Introduced by Representative Steve Knight (R-CA)

Companion Bill to S. 345, introduced by Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE)

Background

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Labor Standards Act of 1938 clearly prohibits employers from discriminating wages of their employees based on sex.

However, employees are currently vulnerable to retaliation by employers if they seek wage information to determine possible wage discrimination violations.

On April 8, 2014 President Obama signed an Executive Order on non-retaliation for disclosure of compensation information. This bill was written based on the same principle and contains language similar to the previous Administration’s stated policy.

Summary

This bill would add a clause to the Labor Standards Act to make it unlawful for employers to retaliate in any way against employees who seek wage information for the above-mentioned purpose (text below).

[it is unlawful] to discharge or in any other manner retaliate against any employee because such employee has inquired about, discussed, or disclosed comparative compensation information for the purpose of determining whether
the employer is compensating an employee in a manner that provides equal pay for equal work, except that this paragraph 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
job functions discloses the wages of such employees to an individual who does not otherwise have access to such information, unless such disclosure is in response to a charge or complaint or in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action
under section 6(d), including an investigation conducted by the employer.

As stated in President Obama’s April 8 executive order, “When employees are prohibited from inquiring about, disclosing, or discussing their compensation with fellow workers, compensation discrimination is much more difficult to discover and remediate, and
more likely to persist.”

This bill also expresses the sense of Congress that gender-based wage discrimination is illegal and recommits to the principles of equal pay for equal work.

This bill does not authorize new federal regulations, nor does it compel employers to disclose salary information.

Related Legislative Issues
Selected legislative information: Civil Rights, Economy, Labor, Small Business
Related Bill Information
Bill Type: H.R.
Bill Type: 1890
Special Note:
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