Gregoire Joins Colleagues in the House of Representatives to Dismantle the Gender Wage Gap
Category : General
Gregoire Joins Colleagues in the House of Representatives to
Dismantle the Gender Wage Gap
(BOSTON) – Representative Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough) joined her colleagues in the House of Representatives in passing legislation to ensure that men and women receive equitable compensation for comparable work. The bill prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in the payment of wages for comparable work unless the variation is based upon a mitigating factor including seniority (provided that paternal, family, and medical leave don’t reduce seniority); a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, sales, or revenue; education, training or experience.
Notably, the bill would prevent employers from requesting salary history in hiring, a measure designed to end the self-perpetuating cycle of wage disparity. Massachusetts would be the first state in the nation to adopt such a provision. However, prospective employees would not be barred from voluntarily disclosing their past salaries. This legislation would also prohibit employers from reducing salaries in order to comply with law, as well as prohibits an employer from preventing employees from talking about their salaries.
“With the passage of this legislation, Massachusetts once again leads the nation in protecting the rights of its citizens,” said Representative Gregoire. “I am proud that after decades of work, I was able to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, advocates and business leaders in passing the strongest pay equity statute in the nation.”
In drafting this bill, the House of Representatives focused on building consensus to ensure that the legislation would be workable, effective and sustainable. Key to those efforts were defining “comparable work” and maintaining flexibility for performance-based compensation. This bill incentivizes companies to correct compensation disparities internally before going to court by creating three-year affirmative defense from liability. Within that time period employers must complete a self-evaluation of its pay practices and demonstrate reasonable progress in eliminating pay disparities.
The legislation will take effect July 1, 2018.