Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) helped reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation she has championed since taking office. The Paycheck Fairness Act would help eliminate pay disparities based on gender. Rep. Kuster is an original co-sponsor of the bill, which would require employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons, ban retaliation against workers who voluntarily discuss or disclose their wages, improve enforcement of pay discrimination, and close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
“Equal work should equate to equal pay, regardless of gender,” said Rep. Kuster. “It’s unacceptable that in 2021, on average, women make 81 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make. This isn’t just an issue for women, it’s about families and communities that are missing out on hard-earned pay. We cannot allow American families who count on a woman to support them to suffer from pay discrimination. I am proud to co-sponsor and help reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act to bring our country one step closer to ensuring that women receive equal pay for equal work, and I urge my colleagues to support this crucial legislation.”
A strong advocate for paycheck fairness, Rep. Kuster believes pay inequity is not just a women’s issue, but a family issue. Since taking office, she’s worked to level the playing field for women and their families and fought to create equal opportunities for female professionals and women-owned businesses. She has also hosted a series of roundtables to hear directly from women business owners and other professionals all across New Hampshire about what more Congress can do to help Granite State women succeed and receive fair pay in the workplace.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would:
Require employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons.
In doing so, it ensures that employers who try to justify paying a man more than a woman for the same job must show the disparity is not sex-based, but job-related and necessary.
Ban retaliation against workers who discuss their wages.
Remove obstacles in the Equal Pay Act to facilitate a wronged worker’s participation in class action lawsuits that challenge systemic pay discrimination.
Improve DOL’s tools for enforcing the Equal Pay Act.
To help the Department of Labor better uncover wage discrimination, it will speed up the collection of wage data from federal contractors, direct the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to conduct a survey of available wage information and create a system of wage data collection, and instruct DOL to conduct studies and review available research and data to provide information on how to identify, correct, and eliminate illegal wage disparities.
Provide assistance to all businesses to help them with their equal pay practices, recognize excellence in pay practices by businesses, and empower women and girls by creating a negotiation skills training program.
Prohibit employers from seeking the salary history of prospective employees.