HBA-TYH H.B. 3414 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3414 By: Van de Putte Economic Development 4/15/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The purpose of this bill is to expand existing equal pay and civil rights laws. The language of the bill is very similar to that of the Federal Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who are performing under similar working conditions. H.B. 3414 prohibits discrimination between jobs of equal value, applies to both public and private employers, allows for exceptions based on bona fide factors such as merit or seniority systems, prohibits lowering wages to comply, and directs the Commission on Human Rights to issue regulations for determining whether jobs are dominated by individuals of a particular race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, or age. This bill also set forth anti-relatliation provisions and requires employers to inform each employee of the individual's job title, wage rate, and the method used to compute the wage. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Commission on Human Rights in SECTION 1 (Section 23.002, Labor Code) of this bill. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Subtitle A, Title 2, Labor Code, by adding Chapter 23, as follows: CHAPTER 23. EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION REGARDING COMPENSATION Sec. 23.001. DEFINITIONS. Defines "employ," "employee," "employer," "equivalent job," "labor organization," "market rate," and "wages." Sec. 23.002. PROHIBITION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION IN WAGES. (a) Provides that it is an unlawful employment practice in violation of this chapter and Chapter 21 (Employment Discrimination) for an employer to discriminate among employees on the basis of race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, or age, by paying wages to an employee: _at a rate less than the rate paid to an employee who is not a member of a protected class described by this subsection for work in an equivalent job; or _in a job that is dominated by employees of a particular race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, or age, at a rate less than the rate that the employer pays to employees in another job that is dominated by employees of the opposite sex or of a different race, color, religion, national origin, or age for work on equivalent jobs. (b) Provides that notwithstanding Subsection (a), it is not an unlawful employment practice for an employer to pay different wage rates if the difference is based on a bona fide seniority or merit system, a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a bona fide factor other than race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, or age. (c) Provides that a wage differential based on varying market rates for equivalent jobs or the differing economic benefits to the employer of equivalent jobs is not considered a differential based on a bona fide factor other than race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, or age. (d) Prohibits an employer who is paying wages in violation of this section from reducing the wage of an employee in order to comply with this section. (e) Prohibits a labor organization or its agents representing employees of an employer who has employees subject to this chapter from causing or attempting to cause the employer to discriminate against an employee in violation of Subsection (a). (f) Requires the Commission on Human Rights (commission), by rule, to adopt guidelines specifying the criteria for determining whether a job is dominated by employees of a particular race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, or age. Provides that the criteria must include whether the job has ever been formally classified as a job for a certain class of employee, whether there is a history of discrimination against persons in a protected class with regard to terms and conditions of employment, and the demographic composition of the workforce in equivalent jobs. (g) Prohibits the guidelines adopted under Subsection (f) from including a list of jobs. Sec. 23.003. OTHER PROHIBITED ACTS. Provides that it is an unlawful employment practice in violation of this chapter and Chapter 21 for an employer to: _take an adverse action or otherwise discriminate against a person because the person has opposed an act or practice made unlawful by this chapter, sought to enforce rights protected under this chapter, or participated in a proceeding to enforce this chapter; or _discharge or in any other manner discriminate against, coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with an employee or other person because the person inquired about, disclosed, compared, or otherwise discussed an employee's wages, or exercised or enjoyed, or aided or encouraged another person to exercise or enjoy, any right granted or protected by this chapter. Sec. 23.004. WAGE DISCLOSURE, RECORDKEEPING, AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS. (a) Requires each employer, on the commencement of a person's employment and at least annually thereafter, to provide to each employee a written statement informing the employee of the employee's job title, wage rate, and the method used to compute the wage. Requires the employer to supplement the notice when the employee is promoted or reassigned to a different position. Provides that the employer is not required to issue supplemental notices for a temporary reassignment less than three months. (b) Requires each employer to compile and maintain records that contain information regarding wages and the method used to compute wages. (c) Requires the employer to maintain the records for the period required by rules adopted by the Texas Workforce Commission and to submit reports based on those records to the Texas Workforce Commission and the commission as prescribed by rules adopted by those agencies. Requires those rules to protect the confidentiality of employees, and provides that those rules must expressly prohibit the reports from including any identifying information. Authorizes the rules to also specify circumstances that warrant a prohibition on disclosure under Chapter 552 (Public Information), Government Code, of the report or of information identifying the employer. (d) Authorizes the Texas Workforce Commission and the commission to use the records for statistical and research purposes and to compile and publish studies, analyses, reports, and surveys based on that information as considered appropriate by those agencies. Sec. 23.005. COMPLAINT; ENFORCEMENT. Authorizes a person aggrieved by an unlawful employment practice to file a complaint with the commission. Provides that a complaint is subject to Subchapters E (Administrative Review) and F (Judicial Enforcement), Chapter 21. Requires the commission to enforce this chapter in accordance with Chapter 21. SECTION 2. (a) Provides that except as provided by Subsection (c) of this section, this Act takes effect September 1, 1999. (b) Requires the Texas Workforce Commission and the commission to adopt rules as required by Chapter 23, Labor Code, as added by this Act, not later than December 1, 1999. (c) Provides that Section 23.005, Labor Code, as added by this Act, takes effect January 1, 2000. SECTION 3. Emergency clause.