2014 Equal Pay Legislation

12/8/2014

Equal Pay | 2014 Year-End Legislation Summary

Summary

Sixteen states and Puerto Rico introduced legislation related to equal pay during the 2014 legislative session. Four states enacted or amended equal pay laws, while Puerto Rico adopted a resolution requesting a program review of their current law requiring training on equal pay.

2014 Enacted Equal Pay Bills

Illinois H 5563 (Public Act No. 1051) amended the Equal Pay Act, allowing the Department of Labor to refer complaints alleging a violation of the act to the Department of Human Rights if the complaint also alleges a violation of the Human Rights Act.

Louisiana SB 322 (Act No. 702) adjusted filing deadlines and procedures for matters associated with the State Equal Pay for Women Act. Louisiana SB 359 (Act No. 750) created a good faith exception for penalties for not paying equal wages, unless the court determines that the employer's failure or refusal to pay was not in good faith.

New Hampshire HB 1188 (Chapter No. 2014-250) prohibited employers from discharging, disciplining, or otherwise discriminating against an employee because he or she discloses the amount of his or her wages, salary or paid benefits. New Hampshire SB 207 (Chapter No. 2014-227) required employers to permit employees to disclose the amount of their wages and provides civil and criminal penalties for an employer who violates equal pay or non-retaliation provisions.

Puerto Rico SR 175 ordered the Senate Employment, Workplace Relations and Consumer Affairs; Senate Women's Affairs; and Senate Civil Rights, Citizenship and Social Economy Committees to conduct an investigation into the performance of Law 11 of 2009 which provides training programs and education programs to ensure equal pay for equal work for women. The resolution passed the Senate.

2014 Equal Pay Related Legislation

ALABAMA
AL H 236  Hall L (D)
Title: Equal Pay Remedies and Enforcement Act
Summary: Establishes the Equal Pay Remedies and Enforcement Act. Expresses certain legislative findings regarding wage differentials between males, females, minorities, and nonminorities. Creates the Equal Pay Commission. Requires the commission to study and report on wage disparities with its recommendations to the speaker of the House of Representatives for transmission to the governor and the Legislature. Status: 01/15/2014 To House Committee on Commerce and Small Business.

FLORIDA
FL H 163  Cruz (D)
Title: Employment Discrimination
Summary: Relates to employment discrimination. Designates act as Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Protection Act.Provides legislative findings and intent relating to equal pay for equal work for women. Recognizes the importance of the Department of Economic Opportunity and the Florida Commission on Human Relations in ensuring fair pay. Provides for duties of department and commission. Creates Governor's Recognition Award for Pay Equity in Workplace. Status: 05/02/2014 In House. Died in committee.

FL S 206  Joyner (D)
Title: Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Protection Act
Summary: Relates to employment discrimination.Creates the Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Protection Act. Provides legislative findings and intent relating to equal pay for equal work for women. Recognizes the importance of the Department of Economic Opportunity and the Florida Commission on Human Relations in ensuring fair pay. Provides for the duties of the department and the commission. Creates the Governor's Recognition Award for Pay Equity in the Workplace. Status: 05/02/2014 In Senate. Died in committee.

ILLINOIS
IL H 5563  Burke K (D)
Title: Equal Pay Act
Summary: Amends the Equal Pay Act. Provides that the Department of Labor may refer for investigation a complaint alleging a violation of the act to the Department of Human Rights if the complaint also alleges a violation of the Human Rights Act over which the Department of Human Rights has jurisdiction. Status: 08/26/2014 Signed by governor. Public Act No. 1051

KENTUCKY
KY H 1  Stumbo (D)
Title: Wages
Summary: Defines equivalent jobs as those that are equal under the federal Equal Pay Act, or jobs that are dissimilar but equivalent in skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions. Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or national origin. Relates to employees of retail stores. Provides for administrative regulations to specify criteria. Status: 03/20/2014 Returned to Senate Committee on Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations.

KY H 148  Marzian (D)
Title: Wage Discrimination
Summary: Relates to wage discrimination. Defines equivalent jobs as those that are equal under the federal Equal Pay Act, or jobs that are dissimilar but equivalent in skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions. Prohibits wage discrimination on the basis of sex, race, or national origin by prohibiting wage differentials for employees who perform equivalent jobs; provides exceptions for wage differentials. Status: 01/08/2014 To House Committee on Labor and Industry.

LOUISIANA
LA H 658  Norton (D)
Title: Employment
Summary: Provides for equal pay for women. Status: 03/10/2014 To House Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations.

LA H 908  Cox (D)
Title: Public Contracts
Summary: Requires government contractors to document equal pay practices. Status: 03/10/2014 To House Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works.

LA H 956  Stokes (R)
Title: Pay Inequality
Summary: Provides that pay inequality in employment is a discriminatory practice. Status: 05/07/2014 To Senate Committee on Senate and Governmental Affairs.

LA S 322  Murray (D)
Title: Employment
Summary: Relates to the Equal Pay for Women Act. Provides that the prescriptive period regarding the employees claim be suspended when filed with the Commission on Human Rights but changes the alternative filing from the U.S. Department of Labor to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Provides that the Commission on Human Rights shall also have jurisdiction over matters associated with the State Equal Pay for Women Act. Status: 06/18/2014 Signed by governor. Act No. 702

LA S 334  Peterson (D)
Title: Employment
Summary: Provides that the Louisiana Equal Pay for Women Act be applicable to men and private employers. Requires government contractors to verify equal pay practices. Status: 04/24/2014 Ordered Engrossed.

LA S 359  Donahue (R)
Title: Employment
Summary: Relates to employers' failure to pay wages. Creates a good faith exception so that, when an employer disputes the amount of wages due and is subsequently found by the court to owe the amount in dispute, the employer shall be liable only for the amount of wages in dispute plus judicial interest incurred from the date that the suit was filed. Provides penalties if the court determines that the employer's failure or refusal to pay was not in good faith. Status: 06/19/2014 Signed by governor. Act No. 750

LA S 548  Broome (D)
Title: Public Contracts
Summary: Requires verification of equal pay practices in public contracts. Status: 03/10/2014 To Senate Committee on Finance.

LA SR 161  Broome (D)
Title: Public Contracts
Summary: Requests public entities to require private persons who contract with the public entity verify employment practices relative to equal pay. Status: 05/27/2014 To Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations.

MASSACHUSETTS
MA H 1702  Calter (D)
Title: Comparable Worth in the Workplace
Summary: Defines comparable worth in the workplace. Status: 01/30/2014 From Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development: Amended by substitution of New Draft. See H 3883.

MA H 1767  Story (D)
Title: Comparable Work
Summary: Defines comparable work. Provides that the comparability of two positions shall be solely based on whether the two positions entail comparable skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions between employees of the opposite sex. Status: 01/30/2014 From Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development: Amended by substitution of New Draft. See H 3883.

MA H 3883  Joint Labor & Workforce Development
Title: Comparable Worth in the Workplace
Summary: Defines comparable worth and work in the workplace. Status: 06/02/2014 To House Committee on Ways and Means.

MICHIGAN
MI H 4517  Slavens (D)
Title: Pay Equity
Summary: Establishes commission on pay equity. Specifies duties: Develops definitions of comparable wages, using the criteria of composite skills, responsibility, effort, education or training, and working conditions; holds meetings and hearings as necessary to develop definitions, models, and guidelines for employers and employees on pay and equity. Status: 04/09/2013 To House Committee on Government Operations.

MI H 4518  Driskell (D)
Title: Equal Compensation
Summary: Prohibits discrimination for failing to provide equal compensation for comparable work. Status: 04/09/2013 To House Committee on Government Operations.

MI H 4519  Hovey-Wright (D)
Title: Wage Discrimination
Summary: Modifies provision regarding wage discrimination based on sex and increases fines. Status: 04/09/2013 To House Committee on Government Operations.

MI S 297  Young (D)
Title: Wage Discrimination
Summary: Modifies provision regarding wage discrimination based on sex, and increase fines. Status: 04/10/2013 To Senate Committee on Government Operations.

MI S 298  Warren (D)
Title: Employment Discrimination
Summary: Prohibits employment discrimination for failing to provide equal compensation for comparable work under certain circumstances. Status: 04/10/2013 To Senate Committee on Government Operations.

MI S 299  Whitmer (D)
Title: Fair Employment
Summary: Establishes commission on pay equity and specify duties. Status: 04/10/2013 To Senate Committee on Government Operations.

MI S 934  Richardville (R)
Title: Minimum Wage and Wage Discrimination
Summary: Creates the workforce opportunity wage act. Increases the minimum hourly wage rate and adjusts it yearly based upon the consumer price index when the unemployment rate is below a specified amount. Prohibits wage discrimination. Provides for a wage deviation board. Provides penalties for violations of wage laws. Status: 05/27/2014 Signed by governor. Public Act No. 138

MI SR 30  Warren (D)
Title: Urge Resolution
Summary: Urges the Congress of the United States to enact legislation that ensures pay equity between men and women. Status: 04/10/2013 To Senate Committee on Economic Development.

MINNESOTA
MN H 2291  Morgan (DFL)
Title: Employment
Summary: Relates to employment. Promotes the economic self-sufficiency of women. Reduces gender segregation in the workforce. Reduces the gender pay gap through the participation of women in high-wage, high-demand, nontraditional occupations. Establishes a women and nontraditional jobs grant program. Status: 02/25/2014 To House Committee on Jobs and Economic Development Finance and Policy.

MN H 2373  Moran (DFL)
Title: State Government
Summary: Requires certificates of pay equity compliance as a condition for certain state contracts. Provides that this does not apply to a contract with the Department of Human Services for the primary purpose of providing health care services. Status: 03/31/2014 Rereferred to House Committee on Ways and Means.

MN S 1806  Pappas (DFL)
Title: State Government
Summary: Relates to state government. Requires certificates of pay equity compliance as a condition for certain state contracts. Status: 03/27/2014 Rereferred to Senate Committee on Finance.

MISSISSIPPI
MS H 169  Evans J (D)
Title: Legislative Findings
Summary: Requires employers to pay equivalent pay for equivalent jobs. Prohibits certain actions by employers. Mandates the keeping of records. Status: 02/04/2014 Died in committee.

MS H 193  Baria (D)
Title: Evelyn Gandy Fair Pay Act
Summary: Creates the Evelyn Gandy Fair Pay Act. Provides that the legislature discourages wage discrimination against women. Clarifies when an unlawful employment practice occurs. Clarifies the remedies for such discrimination. Status: 02/04/2014 Died in committee.

MS H 197  Lane (D)
Title: Evelyn Gandy Family Forward Act
Summary: Creates the Evelyn Gandy Family Forward Act. Provides that the legislature discourages wage discrimination because such discrimination harms families and negatively affects the children of families that suffer wage discrimination. Clarifies when an unlawful employment practice occurs. Clarifies the remedies for such discrimination. Status: 02/04/2014 Died in committee.

MS H 1149  Clark B (D)
Title: Employee Equality
Summary: Provides that no employer shall pay an employee a wage at a rate less than the rate at which an employee of the opposite sex in the same establishment is paid for equal work on a job, the performance of which requires equal skill, effort and responsibility, and which is performed under similar working conditions; provides that an employee may file a petition in the proper circuit court. Status: 02/04/2014 Died in committee.

MISSOURI
MO H 1527  Newman (D)
Title: Equal Pay Commission
Summary: Requires the Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations to establish the Equal Pay Commission. Status: 01/29/2014 To House Committee on Workforce Development and Workplace Safety.

NEW HAMPSHIRE
NH H 1188  Weed (D)
Title: Paycheck Equity
Summary: Prohibits employers from discharging, formally disciplining, or otherwise discriminating against an employee because he or she discloses the amount of his or her wages, salary or paid benefits. Status: 07/22/2014 Signed by governor. Chapter No. 2014-250

NH S 207  Larsen (D)
Title: Paycheck Equity
Summary: Modifies provisions of law regarding pay equity. Requires employers to permit employees to disclose the amount of their wages. Provides civil and criminal penalties for an employer who violates equal pay or non-retaliation provisions. Provides a statute of limitations for any action to recover unpaid wages and liquidated damages. Status: 07/14/2014 Signed by Governor. Chapter No. 2014-227

NEW JERSEY
NJ A 2349  Lampitt (D)
Title: Unfair Wage Recovery Act
Summary: Relates to the Unfair Wage Recovery Act. Clarifies that an unlawful employment practice occurs each occasion that an individual is affected by application of a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice. Provides that nothing shall prohibit the court's authority to apply the doctrine of continuing violation to any appropriate claim as allowed by New Jersey Common Law. Status: 06/16/2014 Substituted by S783

NJ ACR 159  Wimberly (D)
Title: Equal Employment
Summary: Creates a joint committee of the Legislature to be known as the Joint Committee on Economic Justice and Equal Employment Opportunity. Status: 06/26/2014 Substituted by SCR62

NJ S 290  Rice (D)
Title: Public Works Contracts
Summary: Establishes division in Department of Treasury to oversee and enforce equal employment opportunity requirements with regard to public works contracts. Status: 01/14/2014 To Senate Committee on State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation.

NJ S 294  Rice (D)
Title: Hurricane Sandy Relief
Summary: Establishes certain equal employment opportunity requirements in connection with expenditure of federal funds received for Hurricane Sandy relief and for any future emergencies. Status: 01/14/2014 To Senate Committee on State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation.

NJ S 783  Weinberg (D)
Title: Unfair Wage Recovery
Summary: Provides that a discriminatory compensation decision or other employment practice that is unlawful under the Law Against Discrimination occurs each occasion that compensation is paid in furtherance of that discriminatory decision or practice. Status: 08/11/2014 Conditional veto by governor. Returned to Senate.

NJ SR 32  Rice (D)
Title: Joint Committee of the Legislature
Summary: Creates a joint committee of the legislature to be known as the Joint Committee on Economic Justice and Equal Employment Opportunity. Status: 01/30/2014 Filed.

NEW YORK
NY A 753  Rosenthal (D)
Title: Policy of Equal Pay
Summary: Implements a state policy of setting salaries on the basis of equivalent value of work. Status: 02/03/2014 Amended on Assembly floor.

NY A 1729  Jaffee (D)
Title: State Policy of Fair and Equal Pay
Summary: Implements state policy of fair and equal pay for equivalent value of work. Provides that the principle of fair and equal pay for similar work and for equivalent value of work shall be followed in the classification and reclassification and the allocation and reallocation of positions and all positions having the same title shall be allocated the same salary grade. Status: 02/03/2014 Amended on Assembly floor.

NY A 5958  Heastie (D)
Title: New York State Fair Pay Act
Summary: Enacts the New York State Fair Pay Act. Provides that it shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate between employees on the basis of sex, race and/or national origin by paying different wages. Status: 01/08/2014 Recalled from Senate. Returned to Assembly.

NY A 6407  Katz (R)
Title: Stricter Penalties for Unlawful Wage Discrimination
Summary: Relates to implementing stricter penalties for unlawful wage discrimination. Creates the crime of unlawful wage discrimination. Status: 01/08/2014 To Assembly Committee on Governmental Operations.

NY A 6894  Nolan (D)
Title: New York State Equal Pay Act
Summary: Amends the Labor Law; enacts the New York State Equal Pay Act requiring equal pay for certain male and female employees. Status: 01/08/2014 To Assembly Committee on Labor.

NY A 8070  Titus (D)
Title: Women's Equality Act
Summary: Establishes the Women's Equality Act including provisions relating to prohibition of differential pay because of sex. Status: 01/27/2014 To Senate Committee on Labor.

NY A 8784  Ceretto (R)
Title: Differential Pay
Summary: Prohibits differential pay because of sex. Status: 02/14/2014 To Assembly Committee on Labor.

NY S 1491  Krueger (D)
Title: New York State Fair Pay Act
Summary: Enacts the New York State fair pay act. Provides that it shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate between employees on the basis of sex, race or national origin by paying different wages. Status: 04/28/2014 To Senate Committee on Finance.

NY S 2650  Ball (R)
Title: Employees in State Civil Service
Summary: Amends the Civil Service Law. Implements compliance with the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 by establishing a state policy of compensating employees in state civil service equally for work of comparable value by eliminating wage inequality in job titles having been segregated by sex, race or national origin. Requires the president of the civil service commission to report annually to the legislature and the office for employee relations on those segregated titles for which wage disparity exists. Status: 01/08/2014 To Senate Committee on Civil Service and Pensions.

NY S 3497  Little (R)
Title: Civil and Criminal Penalties for Failure To Pay Wages
Summary: Amends the Labor Law. Increases civil and criminal penalties for failure to pay wages or to differentiate the rate of pay based on sex. Directs the commissioner of Labor to study and report upon wage differential among men and women, and between minorities and non-minorities. Status: 01/17/2014 Amended in Senate Committee on Labor.

NY S 5592  Lanza (R)
Title: New York State Equal Pay Act
Summary: Amends the state equal pay act. Relates to any group of employees of predominantly one sex that are paid less than any group of employees of predominantly the opposite sex. Provides that a person seeking to enforce liability may sue in a court of competent jurisdiction. Status: 01/08/2014 To Senate Committee on Labor.

NY S 5841  Robach (R)
Title: Commissioner of Labor
Summary: Establishes the Workforce Guidance and Information for Women Policy Study. Relates to information regarding compensation for jobs and careers and the gender wage gap. Status: 02/10/2014 Amended in Senate Committee on Labor.

NY S 5872  Savino (D)
Title: Differential Pay Because of Sex
Summary: Amends law related to the prohibition of differential pay because of sex. Status: 06/16/2014 To Assembly Committee on Codes.

OKLAHOMA
OK H 3461  Pittman (D)
Title: Labor
Summary: Creates the Equal Pay Act of 2014. Status: 02/04/2014 To House Committee on Rules.

OK S 60  Coates (R)
Title: Labor
Summary: Relates to labor. Creates the Equal Pay Act of 2013. Provides short title. Defines terms. Prohibits certain discrimination by employers on the basis of sex. Provides exceptions. Prohibits certain action for compliance. Construes act. Makes certain actions unlawful. Authorizes the commissioner of Labor to administer and enforce the act. Authorizes the commissioner to adopt certain rules. Authorizes the Department of Labor to conduct certain investigations to enforce the act. Status: 02/05/2013 To Senate Committee on Business and Commerce.

PENNSYLVANIA
PA H 1890  Molchany (D)
Title: Wage Rates
Summary: Amends the Equal Pay Law. Further provides for wage rates. Status: 04/07/2014 Resolution to discharge committee from further consideration of this bill presented: House Discharge Resolution Number 9.

PA HR 716  Watson (R)
Title: Workplace Pay Disparity
Summary: Directs the Joint State Government Commission to study the issue of workplace pay disparity, to reexamine existing federal and state laws relating to that issue and to make recommendations to the General Assembly. Status: 05/16/2014 To Senate Committee on Labor and Industry.

PA S 1212  Teplitz (D)
Title: Wage Rates
Summary: Amends the Equal Pay Law. Further provides for wage rates. Status: 02/04/2014 To Senate Committee on Labor and Industry.

PUERTO RICO
PR H 1740  Natal Albelo (PPD)
Title: Gender Pay Equity
Summary: Creates the Pay Equity and Gender Equity Act and amends current law for the purpose of providing equality and pay equity between people, regardless of gender. Status: 03/06/2014 To House Committee on Labor and Systems of Public Service Retirement.

PR S 496  Lopez Leon (PPD)
Title: Equal Work and Pay Law Amendment
Summary: Adopts as public policy that all departments and agencies prepare training programs and education, ensures equal pay for equal work for women, and orders the Department of Education to prepare and submit proposal for compliance with federal law to educate and train girls and women to enable them to receive equal pay for equal work. Status: 11/17/2014 Passed Both Houses.

PR SR 175  Lopez Leon (PPD)
Title: Women Equal Work and Pay Program Study
Summary: Orders several Senate committees to conduct a thorough investigation into the specific performance of Law 11 of 2009, which provides training programs and education programs to ensure equal pay for equal work for women. Status: 03/06/2014 Passed Senate.

WEST VIRGINIA
WV H 2252  Fleischauer (D)
Title: Glass Ceiling Concept Commission Study
Summary: Authorizes the equal pay commission to study the glass ceiling concept. Status: 01/09/2014 To House Committee on Government Organization.

Source: StateNet bill tracking year-end database search, 11-17-14.