Senate File 137 - Enrolled




                                             SENATE FILE 137

                             AN ACT
 PROVIDING THAT WAGE DISCRIMINATION IS AN UNFAIR EMPLOYMENT
    PRACTICE UNDER THE IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS ACT AND PROVIDING AN
    ENHANCED REMEDY.

 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:

    Section 1.  Section 216.2, subsection 15, Code 2009, is
 amended to read as follows:
    15.  "Unfair practice" or "discriminatory practice" means
 those practices specified as unfair or discriminatory in
 sections 216.6, 216.6A, 216.7, 216.8, 216.8A, 216.9, 216.10,
 216.11, and 216.11A.
    Sec. 2.  NEW SECTION.  216.6A  ADDITIONAL UNFAIR OR
 DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE == WAGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT.
    1.  a.  The general assembly finds that the practice of
 discriminating against any employee because of the age, race,
 creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity,
 national origin, religion, or disability of such employee by
 paying wages to such employee at a rate less than the rate
 paid to other employees does all of the following:
    (1)  Unjustly discriminates against the person receiving
 the lesser rate.
    (2)  Leads to low employee morale, high turnover, and
 frequent labor unrest.
    (3)  Discourages employees paid at lesser wage rates from
 training for higher level jobs.
    (4)  Curtails employment opportunities, decreases
 employees' mobility, and increases labor costs.
    (5)  Impairs purchasing power and threatens the maintenance
 of an adequate standard of living by such employees and their
 families.
    (6)  Prevents optimum utilization of the state's available
 labor resources.
    (7)  Threatens the well=being of citizens of this state and
 adversely affects the general welfare.
    b.  The general assembly declares that it is the policy of
 this state to correct and, as rapidly as possible, to
 eliminate, discriminatory wage practices based on age, race,
 creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity,
 national origin, religion, and disability.
    2.  a.  It shall be an unfair or discriminatory practice
 for any employer or agent of any employer to discriminate
 against any employee because of the age, race, creed, color,
 sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin,
 religion, or disability of such employee by paying wages to
 such employee at a rate less than the rate paid to other
 employees who are employed within the same establishment for
 equal work on jobs, the performance of which requires equal
 skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed
 under similar working conditions.  An employer or agent of an
 employer who is paying wages to an employee at a rate less
 than the rate paid to other employees in violation of this
 section shall not remedy the violation by reducing the wage
 rate of any employee.
    b.  For purposes of this subsection, an unfair or
 discriminatory practice occurs when a discriminatory pay
 decision or other practice is adopted, when an individual
 becomes subject to a discriminatory pay decision or other
 practice, or when an individual is affected by application of
 a discriminatory pay decision or other practice, including
 each time wages, benefits, or other compensation is paid,
 resulting in whole or in part from such a decision or other
 practice.
    3.  It shall be an affirmative defense for a claim arising
 under this section if any of the following applies:
    a.  Payment of wages is made pursuant to a seniority
 system.
    b.  Payment of wages is made pursuant to a merit system.
    c.  Payment of wages is made pursuant to a system which
 measures earnings by quantity or quality of production.
    d.  Pay differential is based on any other factor other
 than the age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation,
 gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability of
 such employee.
    4.  This section shall not apply to any employer who
 regularly employs less than four individuals.  For purposes of
 this subsection, individuals who are members of the employer's
 family shall not be counted as employees.
    Sec. 3.  Section 216.15, subsection 8, paragraph a, Code
 2009, is amended by adding the following new subparagraph:
    NEW SUBPARAGRAPH.  (9)  For an unfair or discriminatory
 practice relating to wage discrimination pursuant to section
 216.6A, payment to the complainant of damages for an injury
 caused by the discriminatory or unfair practice which damages
 shall include but are not limited to court costs, reasonable
 attorney fees, and either of the following:
    (a)  An amount equal to two times the wage differential
 paid to another employee compared to the complainant for the
 period of time for which the complainant has been
 discriminated against.
    (b)  In instances of willful violation, an amount equal to
 three times the wage differential paid to another employee as
 compared to the complainant for the period of time for which
 the complainant has been discriminated against.


                                                             
                               JOHN P. KIBBIE
                               President of the Senate


                                                             
                               PATRICK J. MURPHY
                               Speaker of the House

    I hereby certify that this bill originated in the Senate and
 is known as Senate File 137, Eighty=third General Assembly.


                                                             
                               MICHAEL E. MARSHALL
                               Secretary of the Senate
 Approved                , 2009


                                
 CHESTER J. CULVER
 Governor

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