This bill takes an innovative and cost-effective approach to addressing two key elements of the gender pay gap: women earn less than men in the same jobs, and women are not moving up to leadership roles at the same rate as men.
This bill proposes key changes such as protecting employees’ freedom of speech regarding pay, eliminating the use of salary history in the hiring process, requiring compensation to be based on comparable skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions and requiring employers to include minimum pay in job postings. The bill’s approach is business-friendly because it has little to no cost to implement, allows employers to gradually achieve pay equity, and it builds on other diversity and pay equity efforts already in place at many companies and organizations.
According to the Beacon Hill Times:
Representative Jay Livingstone, who represents Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and the West End in the 8th Suffolk District, participated in a press conference and rally in support of the Equal Pay Bill at the State House. Rep. Livingstone is a co-lead sponsor of the bill in the House.
Rep. Livingstone joined over thirty colleagues, the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators and the Equal Pay Coalition in highlighting the importance of passing H.1733/S.983 An Act to establish pay equity. The group stood in solidarity with members of the public while rallying the crowd to voice their support and join them in Gardner Auditorium for the hearing of the bill before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development.
“I am pleased that the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators has chosen Equal Pay as its priority legislation this session,” said Senator Anne Gobi (D – Spencer). “In 1923, Representative Susan Walker Fitzgerald was the first woman elected to the Massachusetts legislature and she was the first legislator to push for equal pay. We have been talking about this for far too long – now is the time to get something done.”“It’s 2015 and it’s long past time for employers in this state and across the country to pay women the same wage for the same work. When a woman’s pay falls behind, families fall behind. We need to do better, because this isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s a core economic security challenge for our families and for our state,” said Attorney General Maura Healey.
“We have talked about and studied the pay gap for long enough – it’s time for us to address it head on,” said Senator Patricia Jehlen (D – Somerville), who is co-lead sponsor in the Senate.
“As we’ve heard here today, closing the gender wage gap has been a long time coming, and we need to fight until every worker in the Commonwealth is compensated for the work that they do. Massachusetts should lead the way for Equal Pay,” said Representative Jay Livingstone (D – Boston).
“We are so grateful to our champions in the State House who are standing up to eliminate the wage gap,” said Katie Prisco-Buxbaum, the Communications Director for Equal Pay Coalition. “The Coalition looks forward to continuing to bring awareness to this issue and working with our allies in government to ensure women and people of color are paid fairly and equitably.”
The lead Senate sponsor is Patricia Jehlen (S.983).