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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 7 - Paycheck Fairness Act

April 13, 2021

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(House Rules)
(Rep. DeLauro, D-CT, and 225 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act. Ensuring equal pay is essential to advancing American values of fairness and equity. Women lose thousands of dollars each year, and hundreds of thousands over a lifetime, because of the gender and racial wage gap. Women working full-time, year-round in 2019 earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men working full-time, year-round, and these disparities are greater for women of color. Pay inequity also impacts individuals who face intersecting forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, including LGBTQ+ individuals.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of women have dropped out of the labor force, partly reflecting the increased domestic labor demands on women. Caregiving demands often fall disproportionately on women, which leads to many women having to reduce their hours, resulting in lower earnings. As more and more American families rely on women's income, the pay gap hurts not only women, but also the families who depend on them. The cumulative impact of wage gaps adds up to financial insecurity over the course of a career for women and their families and for generations who follow.

The Paycheck Fairness Act is commonsense legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act and give workers more tools to fight sex-based pay discrimination. It would also take major steps toward increasing pay transparency, an essential provision to advance equality in the workplace, by explicitly protecting workers from retaliation for simply discussing their compensation with their colleagues. The bill would also expand opportunities for workers to receive training on effective negotiation skills. The bill would also limit an employer's ability to rely on salary history during the hiring process to set pay, or when determining wages for a promotion. H.R. 7 would hold employers accountable by closing judicially created loopholes for employer defenses and by adding a class action option under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The bill would require the collection of pay data to enable better enforcement of laws prohibiting pay discrimination.

The Administration looks forward to continuing to work with the Congress to address pay equity and urges quick action on this landmark bill.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 7 - Paycheck Fairness Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/350245