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Representative Norton (D-DC) Proposes National Pay Transparency Bill

19 Apr

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Update Applicable to:
All employers.

What happened?
On March 14, 2023, United States Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) introduced the “Salary Transparency Act,” or H.R. 1599, which would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to require covered employers to disclose the “wage range” for open positions in job postings made publicly and internally.

What are the details?

Fail or Refuse to Disclose
The bill would make it unlawful for employers to “fail or refuse to disclose” the “wage or wage range” for employment opportunities in public or internal postings. In situations where a posting has not been made available to an applicant, employers would be required to disclose the wage range for the job “prior to discussing compensation with the applicant and at any time upon the applicant’s request.”

Employees would have the right to know the wage or wage range for their positions “upon hire” and at least once a year thereafter. It would further be a violation for an employer to “refuse to interview, hire, promote, or employ” an employee or applicant or otherwise retaliate against such an individual for seeking disclosure of pay ranges.

Wage Range
The bill would define “wage range” to mean the “range of wages, or salaries and other forms of compensation” that an employer “anticipates in good faith relaying on in setting the pay” for the job. In setting the range, employers could reference applicable pay scales, a previously determined pay range, the pay range of those currently in equivalent positions, or the “budgeted amount for the position.”

Penalties

Violations could result in civil penalties of $5,000 for a first violation, increased by $1,000 for each subsequent violation up to $10,000. Employers violating the act may also “be liable to each employee or applicant for employment who was the subject of the violation” for statutory damages of between $1,000 and $10,000 or actual damages, in addition to attorneys’ fees and potential injunctive relief. The bill would further provide a right of action for employees or applicants allegedly aggrieved by violations. It would allow them to pursue claims for themselves and others similarly situated.

For more information, please see the links below:

Salary Transparency Act

Article

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and should be on the lookout for any more information regarding this update. Vensure will continue to provide more updates once more news has been received.

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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