WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) released the following statement after she cosponsored the WAGE Equity Act, introduced by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21).
“I’ve always supported equal pay for equal work. In addition, gender discrimination is not only wrong, it’s illegal,” said Cathy. “To close the pay gap and empower more women, people of color, and people with disabilities to be transformational leaders in our workforce, we need to make sure current laws work and are properly enforced. If they aren’t, these laws need to be updated.
“That’s why I’m leading on legislation with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik called the WAGE Equity Act. It’s a better solution than the Democrat’s proposal on the House floor today, which requires the federal government to collect data on people’s salaries and employment history. A database like this, which would be run and maintained by faceless bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., is ripe for corruption. Rather than expand the size and scope of the federal government, the WAGE Equity Act encourages transparency by employers and empowers people—no matter their background or walk of life—with the tools they need to achieve equal pay.”
About the WAGE Equity Act:
- It allows employees to discuss compensation with their colleagues: An employer may not prohibit an employee from inquiring, discussing, or disclosing their wages with another employee. Employers are also prohibited from requiring an employee sign a waiver of any document that denies the employee the right to disclose or discuss wages.
- It protects an individual’s ability to negotiate employment based on merit: The WAGE Equity Act affirms an employer’s ability to have a “salary expectation” conversation with a prospective employee. It encourages businesses to move away from “salary history” conversations.
- It requires a GAO report on causes of the real wage gap: This report must include all factors, causes, and impacts of pay disparity based on gender. Also requires study look at causes and impact of management gap.
- It creates a “Self-Audit” system to encourage and allow businesses to rectify pay discrepancies. If the business identifies a problem and takes reasonable action they will not be liable for liquid damages in an action brought against the employer.
- It empowers women and girls to learn and build on their negotiating skills: The WAGE Equity Act provides grant funding for the DOL and DOE to coordinate to provide negotiation skills education to college and career/tech women in recognition of studies showing women tend to struggle with initial salary negotiation out of school which compounds later in career.
CLICK HERE to read a one-pager of the bill.
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