Defenses based on bona fide factors can only apply if the employer demonstrates that the factor in question:
Is not based upon or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation;
Is job-related with respect to the position in question;
Is consistent with the needs of the business;
Accounts for the differential in compensation.
This defense would be inapplicable when the employee can demonstrate that an alternative employment practice exists that serves the same business purpose without leading to a pay differential 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 charge of sex 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. Employers who violate sex discrimination prohibitions would be liable for a civil action for 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 sex discrimination action, and all such actions could be pursued as class action cases without the written consent of individual plaintiffs. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Compliance Programs would be required to train EEOC employees and affected individuals and entities involving wage discrimination.
EEOC would issue regulations related to collecting compensation data from employers to analyze data regarding the sex, race and national origin of employees for use in the enforcement of federal laws prohibiting pay discrimination.