The Democratic majority House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act on a vote of 242-187 on Wednesday.
The bill attempts to close loopholes to the 1963 Equal Pay Act by amending the Fair Labor Standards Act. The legislation is intended to close the gender pay gap between men and women working in the same role. Due to women being less likely to negotiate their pay and being more likely to receive repercussions for even asking, women have been paid less than male coworkers doing the same job.
The new bill would drastically increase a company’s transparency and allow for women in the workforce to better advocate for themselves. The legislation bans employers from asking potential candidates how much they made at their previous job, and removes internal policies that prevent workers from asking each other about one another’s salary. This is intended to allow for more financial growth and mobility while opening dialogue among employees to question their company’s policies. Finally, the bill creates more transparency by requiring employers to share salary data with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to check for any discriminatory practices.
Although the bill has been introduced 11 times and has now passed the House for the second time, it is unclear whether the bill will survive a vote in the Senate.