Equal Pay in MA: The Facts

THE EQUAL PAY BILL FACT SHEET
LEAD SENATE SPONSOR SEN. PATRICIA JEHLEN, LEAD CO-SPONSOR KAREN SPILKA
LEAD HOUSE SPONSOR REP. JAY LIVINGSTONE, LEAD CO-SPONSOR REP. ELLEN STORY

THE PROBLEM – THE NEED FOR PAY EQUALITY FOR WOMEN:

  • Women in Massachusetts make up almost half the workforce. Women who work full time earn approximately 80.8% of what men who work full time earn, and lose a combined total of approximately $12,239,814,352 annually due to the wage gap.
  • As of 2013, 40% of households with children under 18 included mothers who were either the sole or primary breadwinner for the family, up from 11% in 1960, and 57% of low-wage workers in Massachusetts are women.
  • The wage gap, magnified over the course of a lifetime of earnings, can have a serious impact on the economic security of women. Since women live longer than men, lower wages makes it even harder to be self-sufficient throughout retirement.
  • African American women earn 66 cents for every dollar earned by men
  • Latina women earn 54 cents for every dollar earned by men
  • As of 2013, 40% of households with children under 18 included mothers who were either the sole or primary breadwinner for the family, up from 11% in 1960, and 57% of low-wage workers in Massachusetts are women.
  • The gender pay gap increases with age: it jumps from 10% to 22% when women reach age 35
  • The pay gap does not exclusively affect women. Black and African American workers earn only 78 cents for every dollar earned by white men. Hispanic and Latino workers earn only 72 centers for every dollar earned by white men.

THE SOLUTION – BRIDGE THE WAGE GAP IN 3 WAYS:

(1) EQUAL PAY FOR COMPARABLE WORK: This bill clarifies terminology in the existing law to effectively implement equal pay for comparable work.

(2) PAY TRANSPARENCY: This bill permits employees to discuss their salaries with other employees. Pay transparency enables companies to resolve unwarranted disparities in compensation without employees filing complaints or lawsuits. The U.S. Department of Labor has found that pay transparency can decrease discrimination and investigations, saving companies time and money.

3) FAIRNESS IN HIRING PRACTICES AROUND WAGES: This bill requires employers when advertising jobs to include the minimum the job pays and prohibits employers from paying wages less than what is advertised. It also prohibits employers from seeking salary history from job applicants, employees or from another entity during the hiring process without an employee’s written authorization.

THE EQUAL PAY BILL FACT SHEET (printable)

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