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The ‘paycheck fairness’ bill would ban companies from asking about salary history

A freshly-passed House of Representatives bill aims to close workplace salary gaps for women by nationalizing a patchwork of state and local laws that require equal pay for men and women with similar duties.

“Paycheck Fairness Act,” which passed Wednesday 242 to 187, largely propelled by the Democratic majority, would also prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s past compensation when calculating a salary offer, step up worker protections for asking about pay, and beef up pay data collection and enforcement.

The bill would heighten court damages and narrow the defenses companies can invoke to explain why men and women are paid differently.

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