Federal Equal Pay Progress: House Passes the Paycheck Fairness Act
To the cheers of fair pay advocates and high-road employers, the United States House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act today to strengthen federal law protections against sex-based discrimination. The bill will now go to the Senate for a vote.
If passed, the Paycheck Fairness Act would update the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to provide employers with compliance incentives and technical support. It would also promote pay transparency, prohibit employers from using a person’s prior salary history to set their hiring pay, and protect workers who discuss wages from retaliation. The bill closely models two California laws passed in recent years: the California Fair Pay Act, and Assembly Bill 2282.
“None of us are satisfied with the old laws on the books that aren’t closing the gender wage gap, and are costing women billions of dollars a year across the country,” said Executive Director Noreen Farrell. “Today’s decisive vote by the House of Representatives ushers in a new moment in the fight for fair pay, one with fresh solutions to a very old and costly problem for women and their families. We urge the Senate to see this important moment through with its own vote in favor of this important law. It is about fairness, and it is about time.”
“The passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act in the House is a massive step forward for working women, especially women of color in all industries, for whom these wage gaps are larger and more detrimental,” said Deputy Director Delia Coleman. “This bill will help to close the persistent and systemic wage inequities that harm women, families, our economy, and our communities. We thank every representative who voted for it and commend Speaker Pelosi and the House leadership for prioritizing its passage.”