Legislation seeks equal pay and protection for women

Congressman Steve Knight answers questions from constiuents during a town hall at the Chimbole Cultural Center in Palmdale on March 4. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

On national Equal Pay Day, Congressman Steve Knight announced new legislation Tuesday to ensure support and security for women in the workplace.

Knight’s Workplace Advancement Act, coauthored by Representatives Lynn Jenkins (KS-2) and David Young (IA-3), would prevent employers from retaliating against employees who inquire about their salaries and encourage employees to negotiate.

“Equal pay for equal work is a basic American value that is in everyone’s interest, and we must improve and enforce our laws preventing workplace discrimination,” Knight said in a statement. “This bill would help ensure women are able to earn the salaries they deserve.”

Under the act, employees would be empowered to discuss their pay without fear of negative consequence from their employers, according to Knight’s office.

The legislation would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, not impose new federal regulations. This legislation affirms the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, both laws that ban gender discrimination, Knight’s office said.

“While we have made some progress on this issue, we must keep striving to increase economic opportunities and address the barriers that many women still face today,” Knight said.
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