§21-5E-3. Discrimination between sexes in payment of wages for work of comparable character prohibited.
(a) No employer shall:

(1) In any manner discriminate between the sexes in the payment of wages for work of comparable character, the performance of which requires comparable skills; or

(2) Pay wages to any employee at a rate less than the rate other employees of the opposite sex are paid for work of comparable character, the performance of which requires comparable skills.

(b) Nothing in subsection (a) of this section prohibits the payment of different wages to employees where the payment is made pursuant to:

(1) A bona fide seniority system;

(2) A merit system; or

(3) A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production.

(c) No employee shall be reduced in wages in order to eliminate an existing, past or future wage discrimination or to effectuate wage equalization.

(d) No employer shall in any manner discriminate in the payment of wages to any employee because the employee has filed a complaint in a proceeding under this article, or has testified, or is about to testify, or because the employer believes that the employee may testify, in any investigation or proceeding pursuant to this article.

(e) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d), section six of this article, the provisions of this section shall not become effective until the Legislature approves for promulgation the rules proposed by the equal pay commission under the provisions of subsection (c) of said section.