Workplace Advancement Act – Redundant to the Equal Pay Act?

On October 22, 2015, Senior Senator Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) introduced S.2200, the Workplace Advancement Act, in the United States Senate. The stated purpose of the bill is to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to strengthen equal pay requirements. Specifically, the proposed bill prohibits discrimination in the payment of wages on account of sex. It allows for payment of different wages under seniority systems, merit systems, systems that measure earnings by quantity or quality of production, or differentials based on any factors other than sex.  This proposal is similar to the standards outlined in the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

For this reason, as well as a non-retaliation provision, women’s issues groups are discouraging the passing of the Workplace Advancement Act. In the proposed bill, the prohibition of discrimination is inapplicable when employees have access to pay information as a part of their essential job functions and share pay information inappropriately with others.

Govtrack gives the bill a 21% chance of being enacted.

By Joanna Colosimo, Senior Consultant at DCI Consulting Group 

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