Chief Sponsor: Gay Lynn Bennion

Senate Sponsor: Todd D. Weiler


8     General Description:
9          This bill enacts provisions prohibiting wage discrimination on the basis of sex.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     prohibits wage discrimination for state employees on the basis of sex;
13          ▸     prohibits a state employer from seeking wage history or relying on wage history in
14     determining wage rates;
15          ▸     prohibits a state employer from retaliating against a state employee or prospective
16     state employee for certain actions, including:
17               •     failing to disclose wage history;
18               •     invoking provisions related to wage discrimination; or
19               •     assisting in the enforcement of provisions prohibiting wage discrimination;
20          ▸     provides a private right of action for aggrieved state employees with a one-year
21     statute of limitations;
22          ▸     defines terms; and
23          ▸     makes technical and conforming changes.
24     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
25          None
26     Other Special Clauses:
27          None

28     Utah Code Sections Affected:
29     ENACTS:
30          67-21-11, Utah Code Annotated 1953

32     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
33          Section 1. Section 67-21-11 is enacted to read:
34          67-21-11. Wage discrimination for state employees prohibited -- Rulemaking
35     authority -- Enforcement -- Employer liability.
36          (1) As used in this section:
37          (a) "Liquidated damages" means damages to compensate a state employee for the delay
38     in receiving amounts due as a result of a state employer's violation of this section.
39          (b) "Local education agency" means a school district, a charter school, or the Utah
40     Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.
41          (c) "Political subdivision" means a county, city, town, redevelopment agency, special
42     improvement district, or taxing district.
43          (d) (i) "State agency means:
44          (A) the state;
45          (B) a department, commission, board, council, agency, officer, corporation, fund,
46     division, office, committee, authority, laboratory, library, unit, bureau, panel, or other
47     administrative unit of the state;
48          (C) a local education agency; or
49          (D) an institution of higher education listed in Section 53B-1-102.
50          (ii) "State agency" does not mean:
51          (A) a political subdivision; or
52          (B) an administrative subdivision of a political subdivision.
53          (e) (i) "State employee" means a person employed by a state agency.
54          (ii) "State employee" does not include a state officer described in Sections 67-22-1 or
55     67-22-2.
56          (f) "State employer" means an employer that is a state agency.
57          (g) "Wage rate" means:
58          (i) for a state employee paid on an hourly basis, the hourly compensation paid to the

59     state employee plus the value per hour of all other compensation and benefits received by the
60     state employee from the state employer; and
61          (ii) for a state employee paid on a salary basis, the total of all compensation and
62     benefits received by the state employee from the state employer.
63          (2) Except as provided in Subsection (3), a state employer may not discriminate
64     between state employees on the basis of sex, or on the basis of sex in combination with another
65     protected status described in Subsection 34A-5-106(1)(a)(i), by paying a state employee of one
66     sex a wage rate that is less than the wage rate paid to a state employee of a different sex for
67     substantially similar work, regardless of job title, based on a combination of:
68          (a) skill;
69          (b) effort, including consideration of shift work; and
70          (c) responsibility.
71          (3) A state employer does not violate Subsection (2), if the state employer
72     demonstrates that:
73          (a) a wage rate differential is based on:
74          (i) a seniority system;
75          (ii) a merit system;
76          (iii) a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production;
77          (iv) the geographic location where work is performed;
78          (v) education, training, or experience to the extent that education, training, or
79     experience are reasonably related to the work; or
80          (vi) travel, if travel is a regular and necessary condition of the work performed;
81          (b) the state employer reasonably applies each factor described in Subsection (3)(a) on
82     which the state employer relies;
83          (c) each factor described in Subsection (3)(a) on which the state employer relies
84     accounts for the entire wage differential; and
85          (d) the state employer did not rely on prior wage rate history to justify a differential in
86     current wage rates.
87          (4) A state employer may not:
88          (a) seek the wage rate history of a prospective state employee or rely on the wage rate
89     history of a prospective state employee to determine a wage rate;

90          (b) discriminate or retaliate against a prospective state employee for failing to disclose
91     the prospective state employee's wage rate history;
92          (c) discharge, discriminate against, or retaliate against a state employee for:
93          (i) invoking this section on behalf of the state employee or another person; or
94          (ii) assisting in the enforcement of this Subsection (4);
95          (d) discharge, discipline, discriminate against, coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere
96     with a state employee or other person because the state employee or other person inquired
97     about, disclosed, compared, or otherwise discussed the state employee's wage rate;
98          (e) prohibit as a condition of employment a state employee from disclosing the state
99     employee's wage rate; or
100          (f) require a state employee to sign a waiver or other document that:
101          (i) prohibits the state employee from disclosing wage rate information; or
102          (ii) purports to deny the state employee the right to disclose the state employee's wage
103     rate information.
104          (5) The commission may make rules in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah
105     Administrative Rulemaking Act, to:
106          (a) administer the provisions of this section; and
107          (b) establish and implement a process for submitting and investigating complaints of
108     alleged violations of this section.
109          (6) (a) A person claiming to be aggrieved by a violation of this section may bring an
110     action in district court no later than one year after the violation occurs.
111          (b) A violation of Subsection (2) occurs on each occasion that a person is affected by
112     wage discrimination, including on each occasion that a discriminatory wage is paid.
113          (c) A person aggrieved by a violation of this section may obtain relief for back pay for
114     the entire time the violation continues, not to exceed three years.
115          (d) If an action is commenced under this Subsection (6), any party to the action may
116     demand a trial by jury.
117          (7) (a) A state employer who violates Subsection (2) is liable for:
118          (i) economic damages in an amount equal to the difference between the amount that the
119     state employer paid to the complaining state employee and the amount that the state employee
120     would have received but for the violation; and

121          (ii) except as provided in Subsection (7)(b), liquidated damages in an amount equal to
122     the state employee's economic damages.
123          (b) The court shall not award liquidated damages if a state employer demonstrates that:
124          (i) the act or omission giving rise to a violation of Subsection (2) was in good faith;
125     and
126          (ii) the state employer had a reasonable basis for believing that the state employer did
127     not violate Subsection (2).
128          (c) In determining whether a state employer's violation of Subsection (2) was in good
129     faith, the court may consider evidence that within two years prior to the date of the
130     commencement of an action described in Subsection (6), the state employer completed a
131     thorough and comprehensive pay audit of the state employer's workforce for the purpose of
132     identifying and remedying unlawful pay disparities.
133          (d) Liquidated damages does not constitute a penalty to the state employer.
134          (8) A state employer that violates any provision of this section is liable for:
135          (a) legal and equitable relief, including:
136          (i) employment;
137          (ii) reinstatement;
138          (iii) promotion;
139          (iv) wage rate increase;
140          (v) payment of lost wage rates; or
141          (vi) liquidated damages; and
142          (b) an aggrieved person's reasonable costs, including attorney fees.
143          (9) Nothing in this section precludes:
144          (a) an aggrieved person from exercising the person's rights under Section 34A-5-107;
145     or
146          (b) a state employee from asserting any other available statutory or common law
147     claims.