Mass. Senate Passes Pay Equity Bill, State Treasurer Goldberg Support, Other Reactions

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closethegap-smBOSTON, Mass.—The Massachusetts State Senate voted unanimously to pass the Pay Equity Bill (S. 2107), An Act to Establish Pay Equity. The bill now heads to the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

According to NARAL, this bill will: create a definition of comparable work; prevent employers from firing a person for disclosing their salary, and; prevent employers from asking salary history in the interview process. [pullquote]According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women in the United States make 82% of what their male counterparts make. Women make up over 50% of the workforce and it is time that pay is equitable and just.[/pullquote]

Immediately after the vote, State Treasurer Deb Goldberg issued a statement in support of S2107.

“I fully support S2107,” said Treasurer Goldberg. “Economic empowerment has been the central theme of not only my work in Treasury, but throughout my life.  This legislation takes important steps to encourage awareness, facilitate conversation, and ultimately, ensure equality. Equal pay is not a partisan issue, nor solely a women’s issue. It is a family issue, and it affects the economic health and well-being of our entire state.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women in the United States make 82% of what their male counterparts make. Women make up over 50% of the workforce and it is time that pay is equitable and just. The pay transparency provisions in this bill will allow people to negotiate their compensation and the value of their work. To thank your senator for #closingthegap, click here.  [pullquote]”…Equal pay is not a partisan issue, nor solely a women’s issue. It is a family issue, and it affects the economic health and well-being of our entire state.”—State Treasurer Deb Goldberg[/pullquote]

“I want to particularly thank Leader Chandler, Chairwoman Spilka and Senator Jehlen for their steadfast and tireless work to advance this bill and its underlying cause,” Goldberg’s statement read. “I am hopeful that the House might soon consider this legislation so that we can get to work towards finally realizing the promise of equal pay for equal work.”

Bill S2107 proposes several changes, such as increasing the criminal penalty of gender pay discrimination from $100 to $1,000 for employers, and requiring employers to inform their employees of their right to equal pay. The changes would take place at the start of 2018.

A former TRT story from July, 2015, reported that “the bill would close the wage gap by establishing new rules regarding pay transparency. The changes would allow employees to discuss their salaries with other co-workers without risk of termination, require employers to publicly advertise the minimum that an available job would offer, and prohibit employers from requiring applicants to provide salary history during the hiring process without an employee’s written authorization.” [pullquote]”The bill has been hotly contested in the business community, with the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance for Business Leadership coming out in favor and the Massachusetts High Tech Council and Associated Industries of Massachusetts opposing it.”—The Boston Globe[/pullquote]

According to the Boston Globe, “The bill has been hotly contested in the business community, with the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance for Business Leadership coming out in favor and the Massachusetts High Tech Council and Associated Industries of Massachusetts opposing it.”

In March, Treasurer Goldberg announced the creation of a statewide Advisory Committee on Wage Equality through her Office of Economic Empowerment. This group has focused on helping both government agencies and private employers to evaluate their pay structure and put a clearer focus on pay equity in their hiring decisions and salary offers.

[Compiled from News Releases and a Former TRT Story]

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