August 3 2016
Pay Equity Legislation Signed into Law
Massachusetts took a step towards ensuring equal pay for everyone this week by passing a bill that disalows a traditional interview question: previous salaries.
Governor Charlie Baker signed a bipartisan pay equity bill, which passed unanimously by both legislative branches, to ensure equal pay for comparable work for all Massachusetts workers and equal opportunities to earn competitive salaries in the workplace, a release from the governor’s office states.
The Governor was joined by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Treasurer Deb Goldberg, State Auditor Suzanne Bump, State Senator Patricia Jehlen, Representative Ellen Story, Representative Patricia Haddad and members of the Legislature at a signing ceremony in the State House to enact S.2119, An Act to Establish Pay Equity, which will go into effect on July 1, 2018 for Commonwealth employers and employees.
“I am pleased to sign bipartisan legislation to create a more level playing field in the Commonwealth and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to earn a competitive salary for comparable work,” said Baker in the release. “I thank the Legislature for unanimously passing this bill and working closely with the business community to support women and families across the state.”
The new law will prevent pay discrimination for comparable work based on gender, the release states. The bill allows employees to freely discuss their salaries with coworkers, prohibits employers from requiring applicants to provide their salary history before receiving a formal job offer and authorizes the Attorney General to issue regulations interpreting and applying the expanded law.
“This new law is an important step toward ensuring economic security for Massachusetts women and families,” said Attorney General Maura Healey. “It makes vital updates that reflect our modern economy and balance the needs of workers and the business community.”
“Pay equity is not only a women’s issue, it’s a family issue, and with this new law on the books, we are closer to closing the pay gap in our state,” the AG concluded.