SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As Reported by Senate Committee On:
Commerce, Labor & Sports, March 29, 2017
Title: An act relating to workplace practices to achieve gender pay equity.
Brief Description: Addressing workplace practices to achieve gender pay equity.
Sponsors: Representatives Senn, Pellicciotti, Slatter, Macri, Peterson, Chapman, Ortiz-Self, Bergquist, Sawyer, Frame, Gregerson, Farrell, Kilduff, Kagi, Dolan, Clibborn, Pollet, McBride, Stanford, Doglio, Appleton, Robinson, Fitzgibbon, Sells, Goodman, Tharinger, Hudgins, Ormsby, Riccelli, Fey and Pettigrew.
Brief History: Passed House: 3/08/17, 61-36.
Committee Activity: Commerce, Labor & Sports: 3/23/17, 3/29/17 [DPA].
SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, LABOR & SPORTS
Majority Report: Do pass as amended.
Signed by Senators Baumgartner, Chair; Braun, Vice Chair; Keiser, Ranking Minority Member; King, Rossi, Saldaña and Wilson.
Staff: Susan Jones (786-7404)
Background: The Industrial Welfare Act contains a number of wage and wage-related provisions. One provision, the Equal Pay Act (EPA), provides that an employer who discriminates in the payment of wages as between sexes or who pays any female a lesser wage than males similarly employed is guilty of a misdemeanor. The EPA further provides that if a female receives less compensation because of sex discrimination, she may sue and recover the difference in compensation she should have received. It is a defense that the difference in wages is based in good faith on a factor or factors other than sex.
The Washington Law Against Discrimination, administered by the Human Rights Commission (HRC), also makes it an unfair employment practice to discriminate in compensation because of sex.
Under a work-sharing agreement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), complaints alleging a violation of the EPA filed with HRC are investigated by the EEOC.
The National Labor Relations Act protects the right of some employees to discuss the terms and conditions of employment.
Summary of Amended Bill: This Act may be known and cited as the gender pay equity act.
EFFECT OF COMMERCE, LABOR & SPORTS COMMITTEE AMENDMENT(S):
Adds a provision that the Act may be known and cited as the gender pay equity act.
The content of the underlying bill is removed. The deleted provisions of the underlying bill:
modified the Equal Pay Act by (1) defining similarly employed, (2) modifying defenses, and (3) making other changes;
prohibited discrimination in providing employment opportunities based on gender; and
prohibited retaliation for certain workplace discussions about wages and other matters.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Engrossed House Bill: No public hearing was held.
Persons Testifying: N/A.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: N/A.