Summary: H.R.2577 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.2577. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (06/02/1987)

Economic Equity Act of 1987 - Title I: Work - Subtitle A: Pay Equity - Federal Equitable Pay Practices Act of 1987 - Establishes the Commission on Equitable Pay Practices to determine whether the Government's position-classification system and prevailing rate system are designed and administered in accordance with the general policy that sex, race, and ethnicity should not be among the factors considered in determining pay rates.

Requires the Commission to conduct, by contract with a consultant selected under this Act, a study under which job-content analysis and economic analysis shall be applied to a representative sample of occupations in which: (1) either sex is numerically predominant; or (2) any race or ethnic group is disproportionately represented.

Directs the Commission to report to the Congress and the President on the results of such study not later than 18 months after the Commission's date of establishment. Declares that such study shall be considered of an advisory nature only. Terminates the Commission 90 days after its submission of the required report.

Makes sums appropriated to the Office of Personnel Management for general operating expenses available to carry out this Act.

Establishes the Commission on Employment Discrimination in the Legislative Branch to carry out similar duties with respect to job classification and the personnel policies and practices in the Library of Congress. Requires the Commission to submit its final report to the Congress within 18 months. Terminates the Commission 30 days after submission of the report.

Subtitle B: Women in Business - Amends the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prohibit the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from exempting from such Act any class of credit transactions that are primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. Permits the Board to exempt (for five years) a type or class of business or commercial transaction only after determining that application of such Act to such transaction would not contribute substantially to effecting the purposes of such Act.

Subtitle C: Part-Time and Temporary Workers - Part-Time and Temporary Workers Protection Act of 1987 - Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to bring certain part-time employees within the participation, vesting, and accrual rules governing pension plans. Addresses any employee who, within a relevant 12-month period: (1) has customarily completed more than 500 but fewer than 1,000 hours of service; or (2) is employed in a type of position in which employment customarily consists of such a number of hours. Provides that completion of such hours of service will be treated as completion of 1,000 hours of service (thereby bringing the employee within the ERISA benefit framework).

Permits a reduction in the employer-provided premium under a group health plan in the case of a part-time employee only when such employee: (1) has customarily completed fewer than 30 hours of service per week; or (2) is employed in a type of position in which employment customarily consists of such a number of hours. Limits such a premium reduction, when permissible, to not less than a ratable portion of the premium ordinarily provided in the case of an employee who completes 30 hours of service per week.

Revises the ERISA definition of "employee" to include non-employees who, pursuant to a contract or agreement, provide employee-like service to an employer for at least one year at the rate of 500 or more hours per year.

Subtitle D: Economic Security - Social Security Modernization Act - Amends title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) of the Social Security Act to provide that the combined earnings of a married couple which are attributable to the period of their marriage shall be shared equally between them for purposes of determining the eligibility for, and amount, of OASDI benefits to which each spouse is or may become separately entitled.

Credits the survivor of the marriage with 100 percent of the combined total wages for the period of the marriage.

Provides that these provisions shall not apply in specified cases when it would result in a reduction of OASDI benefits.

Repeals the separate definition of disability applicable to widows and widowers. Permits the months of a widow's or widower's entitlement to Supplemental Security Income benefits (title XVI of the Social Security Act) on the basis of a disability to be counted toward the 24 months needed to become entitled to hospital insurance benefits under Medicare (title XVIII of the Social Security Act) on that basis.

Pension Reform Act of 1987 - Amends the Tax Reform Act of 1986 to extend to all accrued benefits existing in plan year 1989 and thereafter the amendments made with regard to the nondiscriminatory coordination of defined contribution plans with Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI).

Amends the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to repeal provisions that permit a certain disparity in simplified employee pension plan contributions with respect to nondiscriminatory coordination with OASDI.

Provides for the repeal, effective for plan year 2000 and thereafter, of IRC rules relating to: (1) the nondiscriminatory coordination of defined contribution plans with OASDI; and (2) pension integration exceptions.

Amends the IRC to establish distinct minimum employee coverage requirements applicable in cases when an employer with respect to a plan is treated as operating a single line of business. Requires such a plan to benefit all the employer's employees.

Limits the exception to minimum coverage requirements available to employers treated as operating separate lines of business for a year.

Amends the IRC and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to eliminate the special vesting requirements governing multiemployer plans.

Directs the Comptroller General of the United States, as soon as possible after this Act's enactment, to undertake thorough studies with respect to: (1) possible methods of requiring employee pension plans to provide cost of living and other adjustments to plan benefits; and (2) potential pension portability mechanisms, including ways to preserve and enhance the real value of deferred vested pension benefits. Lists specific items to be addressed in each study. Requires submission of the studies to specified congressional committees within two years of this Act's enactment.

Medicaid Community Property and Respite Care Act of 1987 - Amends title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act to provide that in determining an institutionalized spouse's Medicaid eligibility the income and resources held by either or both the institutionalized spouse and the community spouse shall (with specified exceptions) be divided equally.

Furnishes the community spouse with a monthly income allowance from the institutionalized spouse's income to the extent the community spouse's income falls short of a minimum monthly needs allowance set by the States to equal at least 200 percent of one-twelfth of the Federal poverty level.

Gives the institutionalized spouse the right to a hearing to establish that the allowance is not adequate to support the community spouse without duress, so that an adequate amount of support will be substituted for the allowance. Prohibits the allowance from being less than court-ordered support payments.

Authorizes the institutionalized spouse to transfer resources to the community spouse to the extent the median net worth of male householders age 65 or older, as determined by the Bureau of the Census, exceeds the amount of resources otherwise available to the community spouse.

Authorizes States to provide Medicaid coverage for up to 30 days of respite care per year.

Nondiscrimination in Insurance Act - Bans discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in the consideration of applications for, or the granting of, insurance policies and the terms of such policies.

Prohibits the use of any statistical table as a basis for action banned by this section, and discrimination in any manner against a person because that person has opposed any practice made unlawful under this section.

Grants to States having insurance discrimination laws the primary opportunity to enforce the pertinent prohibitions. Permits a civil action against the insurer to be filed in State or Federal court by or on behalf of an aggrieved person.

Authorizes the Attorney General to bring a civil action in district court (without regard to the amount in controversy) when there is reasonable cause to believe that a person or group is engaged in a pattern or practice of violating these rights and that such violation raises an issue of general public importance.

Directs the Court to: (1) order the defendant to amend any relevant contract to comply with these provisions; (2) award actual damages for the period of noncompliance; and (3) award the aggrieved person reasonable attorney fees. Authorizes an award of punitive damages, in addition to actual damages.

Describes rights, liabilities, premiums, benefits, and insurance coverages that are not to be affected by these antidiscrimination provisions.

Federal Council on Women Act - Establishes a Federal Council on Women to: (1) collect and evaluate information with respect to any problems that are particular to women in the United States; (2) review and evaluate Federal policy related to any such problems; (3) coordinate the activities of the Council with similar activities conducted by States, local governments, and concerned organizations; and (4) make recommendations.

Directs the Council to report its findings and recommendations to the Congress.

Authorizes appropriations.

Title II: Family and Dependent Care - Subtitle A: Quality of Dependent Care - Amends the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 to: (1) authorize FY 1988 appropriations for allotments to the States for certain dependent care services; and (2) permit grants to eligible non-profit training and technical assistance to family day care providers and associated individuals.

Amends the Social Security Act to increase authorizations for FY 1988 and thereafter for block grants to the States for social services.

Earmarks a specified portion of such funds for grants to improve State child-care licensing and regulatory systems.

Requires as a condition of eligibility for such grants, with limited exceptions specified in this Act, the establishment of a State Advisory Committee on Child-Care Standards to review a State's child-care licensing and regulatory systems. Requires reports by such committees.

Establishes a National Advisory Committee on Child-Care Standards to assist and provide guidance to the States in improving the quality of child-care services. Requires the National Advisory Committee to submit to the Secretary of Health and Human Services proposed recommended standards for child-care programs within 14 months after the enactment of this Act. Terminates the National Advisory Committee 90 days after the publication by the Secretary of final recommended standards.

Subtitle B: Access to Dependent Care for All Families - Amends Internal Revenue Code provisions relating to the income tax credit for employment-related dependent care expenses to: (1) make the credit refundable; (2) increase the amount of the credit from 30 percent to 50 percent of the relevant expenses, reduced (but not below 20 percent) by one percent for each full $1,000 amount by which the taxpayer's adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds $15,000, subject to an annual adjustment for inflation (the current reduction is one percent for each $2,000 in excess of $10,000 AGI with no provision for a cost of living adjustment); and (3) apply the credit to expenses for certain respite care of qualifying dependents of the taxpayer. Permits credit for up to $1,200 ($2,400 in cases involving more than one qualifying individual) of respite care expenses incurred in the care of: (1) a dependent of the taxpayer who is under the age of 15; or (2) a spouse or other dependent of the taxpayer who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care.

Amends the Federal National Mortgage Association Charter Act and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation Act to bring within their respective frameworks loans or advances secured by a single residential property occupied as a single family residence in which community child care service is provided (thus making such loans eligible for purchase under each Act).

Subtitle C: Supply of Dependent Care for Lower-Income Families - Amends the Social Security Act to: (1) increase the amount of funds available for FY 1987 and thereafter for block grants to the States for social services; (2) require States to file annual (rather than biennial) reports on fund use; and (3) detail mandatory contents for such reports.

State Dependent Care Grants Amendments Act of 1987 - Amends the State Dependent Care Development Grants Act to require that amounts paid to States for use in the operation of child care services be designed to enable children whose families lack adequate financial resources to participate in before or after school child care programs.

Requires State Governors to include specified information in their grant reports.

Extends from September 30, 1987, to September 30, 1991, the time until which necessary revisions of grant program descriptions must be submitted.

Directs the Secretary of Housing and Urban Urban Development to: (1) make grants to public housing agencies to contract for lower-income resident child care services; and (2) design such program to determine the extent to which it facilitates resident employability.

Requires a report to the Congress within three years.

Authorizes FY 1988 appropriations.