Washington, D.C. — Today, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed into law one of the strongest equal pay bills in the nation. The bill—which calls for greater pay transparency, encourages employers to review their own pay practices to identify pay disparities, and restricts would-be employers from asking job applicants about salary history—strengthens a current Massachusetts statute barring wage discrimination based on gender.
Shilpa Phadke, Senior Director of the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress and a Massachusetts native, issued the following statement:
I commend the Massachusetts legislature and Gov. Charlie Baker for recognizing the need for robust, common-sense policies to combat the gender wage gap, which remains far too pervasive in workplaces across the United States. Every worker in the state of Massachusetts—regardless of their gender—deserves to be paid fairly for their work. The provisions included in this bill provide concrete steps to help dismantle the gender wage gap by providing greater pay transparency and encouraging employers to take a more active role in identifying and addressing pay disparities. By singing this bill into law, Gov. Baker has established his state as a national leader on the equal pay front.
However, the gender wage gap continues to undermine the economic security of far too many women across America. To make equal pay a reality for all women and families, Congress must put forth comprehensive solutions to strengthen equal pay protections and combat pay discrimination in the workplace.
Currently, women working full time in Massachusetts earn, on average, 82 cents for every $1 a male earns in the state. Nationally, women earn 79 cents for every $1 made by men. For women of color, the gender wage gap is even more dramatic: African American women earn 60 cents for every $1 earned by white men, while Native American women and Latinas earn just 59 cents and 55 cents, respectively.
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