Bill Summaries: H1114 (2015-2016 Session)

  • Summary date: May 11 2016 - View summary

    Enacts Article 2B, entitled Equal Pay Act, to GS Chapter 95 as follows.

    Enacts GS 95-25.27 to establish that no employer can pay any person in the employer's employ at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex in the same establishment for the same quantity and quality of the same classification of work. Establishes that any employer who violates the statute is liable to the employee affected in the amount of the wages that the employee is deprived by reason of the violation. Defines employer to include the state and any local political subdivision of the state and every person having control or direction of any woman or man employed at any labor, or responsible directly or indirectly for the wages of another who employs more than five employees. Defines an employee as any woman or man in receipt of or entitled to compensation for labor performed for another. 

    Establishes that nothing in the statute prohibits a variation of rates of pay for male and female employees engaged in the same classification of work based upon seniority; a difference in length of service; ability; skill; difference in duties or services performed, whether regularly or occasionally; difference in the shift or time of day worked; hours of work; or restrictions or prohibitions on lifting or moving objects in excess of specified weight or other reasonable differentiation; or factor or factors other than sex, when exercised in good faith.

    Bars an employer who is in violation of the statute from reducing the pay of any employee in order to bring the employer into compliance with Article 2B. Bars an employer from retaliating against any employee who seeks redress pursuant to Article 2B or who participates in the investigation of a complaint under Article 2B.

    Enacts GS 95-25.28, which allows an affected employee to file a complaint with the Department of Labor (Department) and requires the Department to investigate the complaint and notify the employer and the employee of the results of the investigation. Allows an employee receiving less than the wage to which the employee is entitled under the statute to recover in a civil action the balance of those wages, together with costs and attorneys' fees, notwithstanding any agreement to work for a lesser wage. Provides that the employee is not required to exhaust administrative remedies before filing the civil action. Establishes that a civil action pursuant to the statute is to be instituted within two years after the date that the alleged violation is discovered by the affected employee.