Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 7

Should it be Easier for Employees to Sue for Gender-Based Wage Discrimination Unless Differences Relate to Education, Training, or Experience?

Argument in favor

Women should receive equal pay for equal work, but in too many cases they get paid significantly less than their male peers do in the same role. The federal government needs to crack down on employers who pay women less, and this bill would make it easier for employees to sue employers after alleging gender-based wage discrimination.

jimK's Opinion
···
04/15/2021
ERA, Get it ratified. Make it a priority. Make a concerted effort to oust the retro State legislatures that have not yet ratified it.
Like (66)
Follow
Share
Hillary's Opinion
···
04/15/2021
Equal pay for equal work. I'm so sick of men being paid more for the same damn job!
Like (29)
Follow
Share
Sharon's Opinion
···
04/15/2021
Say the Republicans: The Democrats are insane, very bad people, and destroyers of our democracy (We’re not a democracy, we’re a republic modeled after the Roman government). “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday argued that some Democrats' efforts to pack the Supreme Court is a "hostage-taking" move aimed to ensure there is a "sword dangling" over the justices as they weigh how they will rule in future cases. [Which the Republican party with McConnell’s acolytes has been working toward on the Supreme Court - does denying Merrick a fair and complete process as nominee, Brett Kavanaugh’s sham investigation, and Amy Coney Barrett’s rammed confirmation with nominee Judicial Committee procedures and rules “waived” by Lindsay Graham ring a bell?]” The harsh comments from McConnell, R-Ky., came less than an hour before a group of House and Senate Democrats were set to unveil a new bill aimed at packing the court — increasing the number of justices from nine to 13. "It's not just about whether this insane bill becomes law," McConnell said. "Part of the point here are the threats themselves. The left wants a sword dangling over the justices when they weigh the facts in every case." https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mcconnell-court-packing-threats-coerce-favorable-rulings Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) on Thursday criticized Democrats’ plans to unveil new legislation that would expand the Supreme Court from nine justices to 13, calling the bill “delusional.” “Imagine if we reduced the number from nine to five and just kept the Republicans. You guys would go crazy,” Jordan added, according to the Washington Times. [Yet, this is what the Republicans have been working toward since the younger Bush presidency] During an appearance on Fox Business’s Varney & Co. on Thursday, Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said Democrats’ objective is “to put four left-wing radicals on the Supreme Court to destroy the checks and balances” and “to destroy the independence of the judiciary.” [Now which party is it that has been pandering to evangelical and farther right Christians, allowed companies to deny medical care and service because of their religious beliefs, worked to tilt the judiciary in their favor at all court levels? Oh, right. The Republican party! And which president placed political toadies at the head of the Department of Justice and as Attorney General? Why, that was Trump without any criticism from Republicans in Congress!] https://www.nationalreview.com/news/sasse-democrats-new-court-packing-bill-is-delusional/
Like (18)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

There are plenty of reasons that one employee might make more money than another — including education, experience, and training. Wage disparities are often the result of differences in people’s abilities, not gender discrimination, and handicapping employers’ abilities to pay people based on their experiences and education would hurt businesses.

B.R.'s Opinion
···
04/15/2021
This bill is nothing more than posturing by the Democrats to serve their base. But if their base only read it, they would know there is nothing new or different that will change anything. What is being proposed is already covered by law, i.e., the Equal Pay Act. This bill was just proposed a few days ago and was re-written. Just because you are now using words such as bona fide factors is not fooling anyone. All you need to do is read the demonstrated criteria defenses that can be used and you would understand. Wake up Democrat voters..... You need to start reading rather than just blindly supporting a topic that looks good.
Like (31)
Follow
Share
Carina's Opinion
···
04/15/2021
No, because many institutions are already paying both genders equally. There are usually entry-level positions that have a set base salary with the possible increase contingent with job performance. Neither gender or race should influence the salary rate. That is racism and discrimination. Positions that are not entry level and requires intensive training like that of a airline pilot must require precise skill and paid accordingly. Race and gender should not take precedence over skill where a pilot takes hundreds of people into the air. The goal is and always should be to get passengers from Point A to Point B. Anything else is totally unacceptable. I want to know I can trust that a competent and skilled pilot is flying the plane and not someone that has been chosen because of gender or race. The goal is to arrive alive and anything less is unacceptable. The same goes for a surgeon.
Like (11)
Follow
Share
Justin's Opinion
···
04/15/2021
Men and women are paid for the same job if they do as well. I’d say in engineering school, maybe 15% are women. So if you look at women and men as a whole without taking into account their professions, then yes men typically make more but if you look at female and male engineers for instance - they pretty much make the same amount of money or the more experienced/better engineer makes more money. Who in their right mind in 2021 would underpay women? No one, we love women.
Like (7)
Follow
Share

What is House Bill H.R. 7?

This bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, would revise existing enforcement mechanisms to prevent wage discrimination based on gender. Exceptions in laws that prohibit wage differences between men and women would be limited to bona fide factors — like education, training, or experience.

Defenses based on bona fide factors could only apply if the employer demonstrates that the factor in question:

  • Is not based upon a gender-based differential for compensation;
  • Is job-related with respect to the position in question;
  • Is consistent with the needs of the business;
  • Accounts for the difference in compensation.

This defense wouldn't apply when the employee can demonstrate that an alternative employment practice exists that serves the same business purpose without leading to a pay difference and their employer refused to adopt that practice.

The prohibition against employer retaliation for complaints by employees would be revised to bar retaliation for inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing the wages of an employee in response to:

  • A complaint or accusation of gender discrimination;
  • An investigation, proceeding, hearing or other action;
  • An investigation conducted by the employer.

It would be illegal to require employees to sign a contract or waiver preventing them from disclosing information about their wages. Businesses would be prohibited from requesting wage and benefit histories from prospective employees or their employer, and companies couldn't use a prospective employee's wage history to determine their compensation unless it's provided voluntarily after an employment offer has been extended to support a higher wage than offered.

Employers who violate gender discrimination rules would be liable for civil compensatory or punitive damages — although the federal government would be exempt from paying the punitive fines.

The Dept. of Labor would be authorized to seek additional compensatory or punitive damages in a gender discrimination action. All such actions could be pursued as class action suits without the written consent of individual plaintiffs. 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Compliance Programs would train EEOC employees, affected individuals and entities about wage discrimination. EEOC would issue regulations related to collecting compensation data from employers to analyze data regarding the gender, race and national origin of employees for use in the enforcement of federal laws prohibiting pay discrimination.

Impact

Women in the workforce; anyone who suspects they have been subjected to pay discrimination based on their gender; businesses that are practicing or have been accused of pay discrimination; and relevant federal agencies — especially the EEOC and Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 7

$68.00 Million
In the 116th Congress, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that it would cost $68 million to implement this bill over the ten-year period from 2019-2029.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) reintroduced this legislation from the 115th and 116th Congresses to help close the wage gap between women and men who work the same jobs:

“The concept is simple: men and women in the same job deserve the same pay,” said Chairwoman DeLauro. “Job loss resulting from the coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, with women accounting for 100% of jobs lost in December. We must enact the Paycheck Fairness Act to both close the worsening pay gap and protect and empower women as they reenter the job force. This legislation is long overdue, but this is the Congress that it will finally be signed into law.”

Lily Ledbetter — the plaintiff in the employment discrimination case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and a women's equality activist, public speaker, and author who's the namesake of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009expressed her support for this bill: 

"Twelve years ago, Congress and President Obama achieved an important victory for women seeking to challenge pay discrimination in court with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act,” said Lilly Ledbetter. “But equal pay is by no means just a women’s issue—it’s a family issue. The Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure they get equal pay for equal work is needed to make the economy work for all families. I applaud Congresswoman DeLauro for her leadership in this fight since 1997, as well as Speaker Pelosi for being a tireless advocate. Now is the time to get Paycheck Fairness passed and signed!”

The Biden administration has included this legislation among its gender equality priorities.

The Center for American Progress (CAP) supports this bill. When this bill was introduced in the previous session of Congress, Jocelyn Frye, senior fellow at CAP's Women's Initiative, said

"The Paycheck Fairness Act represents a critical step forward in the fight for equal pay, and its passage is long overdue. Ensuring women are paid fairly for their work is essential to upholding our national commitment to equality and is inextricably linked with working families’ economic security. Nearly two-thirds of women serve as their family’s sole, primary, or co-breadwinner, which is why the strength of America’s economy rests on women. Yet, women continue to face persistent pay disparities in the workplace. The Paycheck Fairness Act would tackle this problem head on by improving worker protections to limit pay secrecy, promoting employer accountability, and strengthening the investigatory tools that enforcement agencies can use to uncover pay disparities... The failure to effectively combat pay discrimination puts women and the families they support at an economic disadvantage, and what may seem like pennies an hour translates into hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime—and hundreds of billions of dollars to our economy as a whole.  Women of color, who experience the sharpest pay disparities, are particularly hard-hit."

Republicans — who generally oppose this bill — say it's unnecessary because pay discrimination based on gender is already illegal under the Equal Pay Act, which provides employees with a legal mechanism to claim pay discrimination and seek redress. They also contend that this bill's regulations would serve to discourage companies from hiring women, thereby hurting women in the workforce rather than helping them. In the bill's committee report in the 116th Congress, GOP members summed up their opposition:

"Simply put, H.R. 7 does little to protect the wages and paychecks of American workers and does far more to line the pockets of the plaintiffs' trial-lawyer bar. First, the bill dramatically limits and likely eliminates the ability of business owners to defend claims of discrimination based on pay differences that arise from lawful and legitimate purposes, while radically expanding liability and damages under the [Equal Pay Act]. The bill also obstructs the recruitment and hiring process by restricting use of information related to a prospective employee's current compensation. Further, the bill requires a burdensome, intrusive, and unnecessary government collection of questionable utility of worker pay data. The data is broken down by race, sex, and national origin, and raises significant confidentiality and privacy concerns."

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes this legislation, as it argues that it would “undermine efforts to combat pay discrimination by conflating discriminatory practices with other non-discriminatory factors that result in legitimate pay disparities.” In a February 24, 2021 letter, the Chamber wrote:

“Factors such as experience, education, location, and shift work can and often do result in pay differentials between employees employed by the same business in similar positions. Current law recognizes that these are legitimate, non-discriminatory distinctions. H.R. 7 would impose a new multi-factor test that includes a vague ‘business necessity’ test that would effectively eliminate the ability of an employer to make compensation decisions based on such factors. As a result, employees will not be compensated based on the attributes they bring to the job and their actual contributions to their employer.”

The House Education and Labor Committee passed this bill with an amendment by a 27-19 vote with the support of 239 House cosponsors of this bill, including 238 Democrats and one Republican, in the current session of Congress. Its Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), has 49 Senate cosponsors, including 47 Democrats and two Independents who caucus as Democrats.

This legislation had the support of all 222 Democratic members of the House when it was introduced in the 116th Congress, as well as the support of three Republicans. A Senate version of this bill in the 116th Congress, introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), had 46 cosponsors, including 44 Democrats and two Independents.

In the 115th Congress, Rep. DeLauro introduced this bill with the support of 201 bipartisan cosponsors, including 200 Democrats and one Republican, in the House and it didn't receive a committee vote. Sen. Murray also introduced a Senate version with the support of 48 cosponsors, including 47 Democrats and one Independent, and it also didn't receive a committee vote.

This bill has the support of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), National Partnership for Women & Families, National Organization for Women (NOW), EMILY's List, and Center for American Progress (CAP).

Democrats have attempted to pass this bill for 20 years. Since 2012, House Republicans have voted at least four times to block this bill from consideration, arguing that it'd make it too easy for workers to sue firms over pay inequality allegations, leading to unnecessary lawsuits.


Of NoteIn 2009, the Department of Labor requested the publication of a report detailing the causes of the wage disparity between men and women: 

“This study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices made by both male and female workers.”

Claims that women make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men have been enthusiastically embraced by some and brushed aside as a statistical myth by others in pursuit of their respective policy goals. A deeper examination of the issue done by the American Association of University Women put the figure closer to 91 cents for every dollar men earn. Another analysis in Slate highlighted observations that such figures are an oversimplification of a complex issue, which discount personal choices made by male and female workers.

In January 2019, the National Partnership for Women & Families contended

"Today, women who work full time, year-round are paid, on average, only 80 cents for every dollar paid to men, resulting in a gap of $10,169 each year. The gap exists in every state, regardless of geography, occupation, education or work patterns. And it is worse for women of color: On average, Latinas are typically paid 53 cents, Native American women 58 cents and Black women just 61 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. White, non- Hispanic women are paid 77 cents and Asian women 85 cents for every dollar paid to white, non- Hispanic men, although some ethnic subgroups of Asian women fare much worse."

In 2020, U.S. women earned 81 cents per dollar earned by men. This gap widened for women of color, who earned 75 cents per dollar earned by white men.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell and Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / hyejin kang)

AKA

Paycheck Fairness Act

Official Title

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.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed April 15th, 2021
    Roll Call Vote 217 Yea / 210 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
    IntroducedJanuary 28th, 2021

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    ERA, Get it ratified. Make it a priority. Make a concerted effort to oust the retro State legislatures that have not yet ratified it.
    Like (66)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill is nothing more than posturing by the Democrats to serve their base. But if their base only read it, they would know there is nothing new or different that will change anything. What is being proposed is already covered by law, i.e., the Equal Pay Act. This bill was just proposed a few days ago and was re-written. Just because you are now using words such as bona fide factors is not fooling anyone. All you need to do is read the demonstrated criteria defenses that can be used and you would understand. Wake up Democrat voters..... You need to start reading rather than just blindly supporting a topic that looks good.
    Like (31)
    Follow
    Share
    Equal pay for equal work. I'm so sick of men being paid more for the same damn job!
    Like (29)
    Follow
    Share
    Just pass the ERA!!!
    Like (26)
    Follow
    Share
    Employers should be required to quantify pay, benefits & promotions based on education, training and experience which should clearly be defined in job descriptions. Have trained too many men that would not even be in the field as they didn’t have the required background to watch them be promoted based on their “personal history & relationships” with decision makers.
    Like (24)
    Follow
    Share
    Say the Republicans: The Democrats are insane, very bad people, and destroyers of our democracy (We’re not a democracy, we’re a republic modeled after the Roman government). “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday argued that some Democrats' efforts to pack the Supreme Court is a "hostage-taking" move aimed to ensure there is a "sword dangling" over the justices as they weigh how they will rule in future cases. [Which the Republican party with McConnell’s acolytes has been working toward on the Supreme Court - does denying Merrick a fair and complete process as nominee, Brett Kavanaugh’s sham investigation, and Amy Coney Barrett’s rammed confirmation with nominee Judicial Committee procedures and rules “waived” by Lindsay Graham ring a bell?]” The harsh comments from McConnell, R-Ky., came less than an hour before a group of House and Senate Democrats were set to unveil a new bill aimed at packing the court — increasing the number of justices from nine to 13. "It's not just about whether this insane bill becomes law," McConnell said. "Part of the point here are the threats themselves. The left wants a sword dangling over the justices when they weigh the facts in every case." https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mcconnell-court-packing-threats-coerce-favorable-rulings Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) on Thursday criticized Democrats’ plans to unveil new legislation that would expand the Supreme Court from nine justices to 13, calling the bill “delusional.” “Imagine if we reduced the number from nine to five and just kept the Republicans. You guys would go crazy,” Jordan added, according to the Washington Times. [Yet, this is what the Republicans have been working toward since the younger Bush presidency] During an appearance on Fox Business’s Varney & Co. on Thursday, Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said Democrats’ objective is “to put four left-wing radicals on the Supreme Court to destroy the checks and balances” and “to destroy the independence of the judiciary.” [Now which party is it that has been pandering to evangelical and farther right Christians, allowed companies to deny medical care and service because of their religious beliefs, worked to tilt the judiciary in their favor at all court levels? Oh, right. The Republican party! And which president placed political toadies at the head of the Department of Justice and as Attorney General? Why, that was Trump without any criticism from Republicans in Congress!] https://www.nationalreview.com/news/sasse-democrats-new-court-packing-bill-is-delusional/
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    I agree that the ERA should be passed. At best H. R. 7 might help some female executives break some glass ceilings going forward. The problem, as always with lawsuits, is when Deep Pockets Flush with cash and a line of credit valued at 100's of thousands of dollars oppose a Skinny Wallet with few spare bucks, an ATM Card and Two Tapped Out Credit Cards with high-interest rates, Deep Pockets will most often win. Most likely, this will become a cottage industry for the lawyers of already wealthy plaintiffs probably not underpaid by much and another corporate law specialty hired by firms run by neanderthals. Question: How do we help the hundreds of thousands of working and middle class women already discriminated against? I am sure that there will be ten thousand excuses.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    No, because many institutions are already paying both genders equally. There are usually entry-level positions that have a set base salary with the possible increase contingent with job performance. Neither gender or race should influence the salary rate. That is racism and discrimination. Positions that are not entry level and requires intensive training like that of a airline pilot must require precise skill and paid accordingly. Race and gender should not take precedence over skill where a pilot takes hundreds of people into the air. The goal is and always should be to get passengers from Point A to Point B. Anything else is totally unacceptable. I want to know I can trust that a competent and skilled pilot is flying the plane and not someone that has been chosen because of gender or race. The goal is to arrive alive and anything less is unacceptable. The same goes for a surgeon.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    It's about time that we have gender equality in pay, benefits, and roles. If that means more lawsuits from employers, then I'm fine with that. Women should not face lower wages because they might have children, that's discriminatory.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Men and women are paid for the same job if they do as well. I’d say in engineering school, maybe 15% are women. So if you look at women and men as a whole without taking into account their professions, then yes men typically make more but if you look at female and male engineers for instance - they pretty much make the same amount of money or the more experienced/better engineer makes more money. Who in their right mind in 2021 would underpay women? No one, we love women.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely! Otherwise there is some lame excuse to discriminate against someone.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes. Next question. I have worked with and “under” women my entire professional life. Men need to get the hell out of the way and let them take over. It’s time for a matriarchal revolution.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Ratify the ERA! Yes, it should be very easy to sue employers who pay women of similar experience, education and job performance less than men. It’s not right.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    I totally agree women should get equal fir equal work, especially when qualifications are equal. But we all know suing only make lawyers rich. Because companies always have the upper hand with multiple attorneys. I never worked in an atmosphere where women did not get equal pay as men, but we were union. Yes we have three girls. One works for a large corporation and gets good pay and is treated fair. Second is a high school teacher, spent lots of money on her education (Masters degree) and makes less that our trash truck driver. That is the major shaft, when superintendent makes over $300 K. Third is in her own business and doing okay. So i do understand. But until major corporations stop having their hand in our Congresses pockets, nothing will change.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Jamie Dimon says 'American dream is fraying' You and your fellow bankers, corporates created & cultivated this divide and continue to do so! It didn’t just happen overnight? Voter suppression, income inequality, gender inequality, gender bias, minority bias, taxation bias & preferences, support of white supremacy, funding radical politicians, manufacturing exit, empowering china, supporting despots in central america and resultant destabilization etc collectively and cumulatively got us here! Now you don’t know how to unwind this and that too in an instant because the noose around america’s and democracy’s neck is tightening coupled with the loss of world standing and now accelerated job erosion through automation When capitalism and the consuming middle class recedes who are you going to serve? Instead of wringing your hands and constantly decrying the situation put your money where your mouth is! You have seen this coming over a decade! You and your ilk have no excuses left!
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    I keep saying this but PLEASE go back and study OUR history and the history of the WORLD. Women have always worked and not just the mundane jobs men suggest. We have always been doctors, scientists, explorers, and every other field you can think of. Women helped us to reach the moon, six of which were BLACK women. We are ALL more than the sum total of our parts. Your Penis, your WHITE PENIS does not make you smarter than I am because I do NOT have a penis. The color of my skin, the language I speak, or my Religion or the lack thereof does NOT make me better or worse.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    This should be the norm across the board...period. When a woman does the exact same job as a man, the pay should be the same. Who decided this extremely unfair thing in the first place? Yes a woman should have that option to sue especially if she's the educated one for the job. Over the years I've seen this and I raised holly hell. I did more than a man did...had more experience than the man did..and to boot I had to train him how to do his job! That didn't fly well with me because I found out what his pay would be. Many hats yet no deserved pay so I quit and left them with no one to do the training. Beg me to stay but no equal pay. He gets a cushy job and screw the woman training him? Nope!
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes. There is no doubt. The deck is stacked against women employees. Of course, this is just a tiny first step. Equal pay for equal work must include everyone! Women, African-Americans, Latinx, Asians, Pacific Islanders and Indigenous People.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    How about these asshole employers STOP making it against policy and a terminating offense to discuss salaries among co-workers. That’s the dirty little secret that was present at every job I ever worked outside of fast-food when I was in high school. It’s bullshit! It’s also a way for employers to avoid union formation. Otherwise EVERY conflict regarding salaries is a corporate gotcha. And it’s insulting and condescending! Also, ratify the ERA you numbskulls!
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    The federal government should stay out of the states governing themselves. The states should determine the best laws for the people of that state and that’s where the law should start, then if a federal law is needed the federal government can take up that law. The more the states turn over their responsibility tho govern their residents the more powerful the federal government becomes. That is what is happening now, people from New York, California ( the northeast and west coast) are governing the entire US. Think about that the next time you think isn’t great to have the federal govt step in and tell the states what laws they need to enact.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE