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Seyfarth Labor & Employment Partner to Testify Before House Education & Labor Subcommittees


Camille Olson to Appear Before Joint Subcommittee Hearing on Paycheck Fairness Act

On Wednesday, February 13, Seyfarth Shaw LLP partner Camille Olson will testify before the U.S. House Education & Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services and Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.

The House Joint Subcommittee hearing, “Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7): Equal Pay for Equal Work,” will begin at 10:15 a.m. ET; the webcast and more details can be found here. Camille’s full written testimony can be found here. Key highlights from the testimony include:

  • Employers have a deep commitment to ensuring that their compensation systems effectively attract, motivate, reward and retain employees while complying with applicable laws. The Equal Pay Act requires that differences in pay between men and women in equal jobs be appropriately justified by job-related factors. A matrix of broad protections in the law ensure that employers comply with this basic principle.
  • H.R. 7 is based on the false premise that broad wage differences between men and women are necessarily due to wage discrimination by employers and, taken as a whole, H.R. 7 is unworkable as a practical and legal matter in today’s workplaces.
  • Although often couched in seemingly technical language, H.R. 7 would: make sweeping changes to the Equal Pay Act such as making it virtually impossible for an employer to defend itself even when legitimate job-related factors explain differences in pay; impose unlimited punitive and compensatory damages and expand class action rules to the benefit of the plaintiffs’ trial bar; and impose numerous other changes.
  • Nevertheless, there are some areas in which the Equal Pay Act could be enhanced and should be considered by the Congress.

Throughout the last decade, Olson has appeared before the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, the EEOC, and the United States Department of Labor on her own behalf (as a recognized expert in various fields), and on behalf of business and human resource organizations. She has represented companies nationwide in all areas of litigation, with an emphasis on employment discrimination and harassment, wage and hour matters, and independent contractor classification issues. Olson is co-chair of Seyfarth’s National Complex Litigation practice group and is a member of the firm’s Government Relations and Policy practice group.

Seyfarth’s Government Relations and Policy practice group provides legal expertise to clients regarding the actions of Congress and federal, state, and local administrative agencies. Comprised of Seyfarth attorneys with government relations and policy experience, the team develops solutions for clients and provides ongoing education and advocacy on policy issues.