Committee on Education and Labor - U.S. House of Representatives

Wages & Benefits

Middle class Americans are working harder and getting less. The Committee is playing an active role in ensuring that workers are able to balance the demands of work and family, obtain affordable health care, and are not the victims of pay discrimination.

House Passes Paycheck Fairness Act

Marcia Greenberger
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The House passed the Paycheck Fairness Act on July 31, by a vote of 247-178. The measure would help end the discriminatory practice of paying men and women unequally for performing the same job. The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, will strengthen the Equal Pay Act and close the loopholes that have allowed employers to avoid responsibility for discriminatory pay. More »

Minimum Wage Increases For First Time in 10 Years

The Democratic-led Congress passed the first minimum wage increase in nearly 10 years on May 24, 2007; the first and second of three increases took effect on July 24, 2007 and July 24, 2008, respectively. The current federal minimum wage is now $6.55. After the House of Representatives voted on May 24, 2007 to approve legislation to increase the national minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour, the measure was signed into law. More information on the minimum wage increase »

House Passes Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Ledbetter v. Goodyear Video
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On July 31, 2007, the House of Representatives passed legislation to rectify a Supreme Court ruling in May that made it harder for workers to pursue pay discrimination claims. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would clarify that every paycheck or other compensation resulting, in whole or in part, from an earlier discriminatory pay decision constitutes a violation of the Civil Rights Act. As long as workers file their charges within 180 days of a discriminatory paycheck, their charges would be considered timely. More »

Mental Health Parity Bill Passes Committee

On March 5, 2008, the House approved bipartisan legislation to ensure better access to treatment for people suffering from mental illnesses. The Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act would require group health insurance plans to put coverage for mental illnesses on equal footing with physical ailments. More »

House Passes Measure to Provide Leave Time to Military Families

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Legislation to allow workers to use Family and Medical Leave to deal with issues that arise as a result of the deployment of a spouse, parent, or child to a combat zone like Iraq or Afghanistan was passed by the House on January 16, 2008 and signed into law on January 28, 2008. The measure was offered by Reps. Jason Altmire and Tom Udall as an amendment to a larger defense bill.