The Equal Pay Act of 1963 requires employers to pay men and women equal pay for equal work. Despite this law, the gender pay gap is still a major issue in the U.S. For example, the gender pay ratio is about 76% in Oklahoma. This means that on average, a woman who is working full-time in Oklahoma will earn $0.76 for every $1.00 earned by a man who is working full-time in this state.
Now, lawmakers are attempting to pass legislation that will close the gender pay gap once and for all.
What is the Paycheck Fairness Act?
Many legislators, equal pay activists, and legal organizations, including the American Bar Association, have argued that the Equal Pay Act has been ineffective because it lacks enforcement resources and employee protections. The Paycheck Fairness Act would make a number of updates to the Equal Pay Act in order to make this legislation more effective. These changes include:
- Requiring that employers provide proof that wage differences between men and women are based on other factors besides gender.
- Protecting employees from retaliation for discussing their own pay or asking their employer for more information regarding wage practices.
- Enhancing the penalties imposed on employers who violate the equal pay laws.
- Allowing employees to compare their wages in order to determine if they are being paid fairly.
- Instructing the Department of Labor to begin collecting wage-related data from employers in the U.S. This data would be made available to the public.
- Preventing employers from using a job applicant’s salary history to determine their pay at the time they are hired.
- Providing more training to employees at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to help them identify and resolve fair pay disputes.
Lawmakers believe that these changes would increase the effectiveness of the Equal Pay Act and narrow the gender pay gap.
The Status of the Paycheck Fairness Act
The Paycheck Fairness Act, which was sponsored by Representative Rosa DeLauro, was passed by the House of Representatives in March of 2019. However, this does not mean that the law will go into effect. This legislation must be approved by the Senate next.
If you are not receiving equal pay for equal work, contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. as soon as possible. Let our dedicated attorneys hold your employer accountable for violating your right to fair pay. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.