HBA-KDB, SEP H.B. 1082 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1082 By: Thompson Economic Development 2/23/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The Federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who are performing under similar working conditions. House Bill 1082 provides that it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against employees on certain non bona fide factors, or to retaliate against an employee in certain circumstances, and sets forth requirements for wage disclosure, record keeping, and reporting. 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 (Sections 24.002 and 24.004, Labor Code) and SECTION 2 and to the Texas Workforce Commission in SECTION 1 (Section 24.004, Labor Code) and SECTION 2 of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 1082 amends the Labor Code to provide that it is an unlawful employment practice 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 for work in an equivalent job. It is also an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate among employees on any of those bases by paying wages to an employee 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 paid to employees in another equivalent job that is dominated by employees of the opposite sex or of a different race, color, religion, national origin, or age. It is not an unlawful employment practice for an employer to pay different wage rates to employees 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 another bona fide factor. A wage differential based on either 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. The bill prohibits an employer who is paying wages in violation of these provisions from reducing an employee's wage in order to comply. The bill prohibits a labor organization or its agents representing employees from causing or attempting to cause the employer to discriminate against an employee. The bill requires the Commission on Human Rights (commission) to adopt, by rule, not later than December 1, 2001, guidelines that specify certain criteria for determining whether a job is dominated by employees of a particular race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, or age. The bill prohibits the guidelines from including a list of jobs. The bill provides that it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to take an adverse action or otherwise discriminate against a person because the person has opposed an unlawful act or practice of unemployment discrimination, has sought to enforce rights protected under these provisions, or has testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in a proceeding to enforce these provisions. It is also an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against, coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with an employee or other person because the person discussed an employee's wages, or exercised, enjoyed, or aided or encouraged another person to exercise or enjoy any right granted or protected under these provisions The bill requires each employer, on the commencement of a person's employment and at least annually thereafter, to provide to each employee a written statement containing the employee's job title, wage rate, and the method used to compute the wage. The bill further requires the employer to supplement the notice when the employee is promoted or reassigned to a different position for more than three months. The bill requires each employer to compile and maintain records, for a period specified by Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) rules, that contain the wages paid to each employee and the factors used to establish, adjust, and determine the wage rates paid to the employee. The employer is required to submit reports based on those records to TWC and the commission as prescribed by rules adopted by those agencies. The bill authorizes TWC and the commission to use the collected information for statistical and research purposes, and to compile and publish studies, analyses, reports, and surveys based on that information. The bill authorizes a person aggrieved by an unlawful employment practice to file a complaint with the commission beginning January 1, 2002. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.