Governor Baker signs bill protecting against gender-based wage discrimination

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Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill that ensures equal pay for comparable work equal salary opportunities for all Massachusetts workers, the Governor’s office said in a press release August 1.

The new law, An Act to Establish Pay Equity, aims to protect employees against gender based wage discrimination, the release read. The bill also prohibits employers from asking applicants about their salary history before receiving a job offer, and allows employees to discuss their salaries with one another.

While employers are still allowed to take other things into account when deciding an employees pay rate, such as work experience, education, job training, or measurements of production, sales, or revenue, the release read.

The bill passed unanimously, the release read.

The bill will provide a level playing field and give everyone “the opportunity to earn a competitive salary for comparable work,” Baker said in a statement.

“I thank the Legislature for unanimously passing the bill and working closely with the business community to support women and families across the state,” Baker said.

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito called the bill “an important step forward” for woman and families.

“This legislation is an important step toward advancing more equal, inclusive and thriving workplaces throughout the Commonwealth for women and families,” Lt. Governor Polito said in a statement. “We thank the Legislature for their collaboration with the Commonwealth’s employers and their commitment to creating more opportunities for Massachusetts’ skilled workforce.”

Attorney General will have the authority to issue regulations interpreting and applying the expanded law, the release read. The law is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2018.

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