BOSTON – Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) announced that the Massachusetts Legislature passed a measure to ensure that men and women receive equitable compensation for comparable work. The legislation passed both chambers of the Legislature with unanimous support.
Most notably, the bill prohibits wage discrimination on the basis of gender for comparable work unless the variation is based upon a mitigating factor such as education, training, experience and seniority.
“I am pleased to support this legislation to help prevent against wage disparities based on gender in our Commonwealth,” said Sen. Moore. “The final bill represents a consensus-based effort to ensure that the legislation would be practical, effective and sustainable.”
The legislation also prevents employers from requesting salary history in hiring— making Massachusetts the first state in the nation to adopt such a provision. The bill, however, would not bar prospective employees from voluntarily disclosing their past salaries.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a woman working full time in Massachusetts earns 82 cents for every dollar a man in Massachusetts earns. A report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research projects that the gender wage gap in Massachusetts will not close on its own until 2058.
The legislation has been laid before the Governor for his approbation and, if signed, will take effect on July 1, 2018.