BOSTON (WWLP) – In hopes of making pay more equitable for all employees regardless of race or gender, the House brought forward a bill that would require pay transparency from the start.
In late September, the Labor and Workforce Development Committee pushed forward a redrafted bill with the nickname “The Frances Perkins Workplace Equity Act,” honoring a Massachusetts woman who was the first female to serve as U.S. Labor Secretary.
Changes were made in committee to help avoid putting burden on businesses. What the bill will do is mandate that businesses with at least 25 employees post a projected pay range in hiring advertisements. This would be for both public and private employers.
Advocates for the bill say that posting salaries or hourly pay ranges creates a more equal opportunity for workers, especially for those who have been historically marginalized like women and people of color.
“This is making sure that everyone who walks in is on equal footing, they all know what the actual range is going to be and it helps to weed out any discrimination,” said Northampton Representative Lindsay Sabadosa.
On top of posting salaries, employers will have to report pay data to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce development.
A change that was made in committee was the punishment associated if a business did not include a pay range, which lessened concerns for small businesses. At first, a business simply receives a warning, then a fine up to $500 and a fine of $1,000 for a third offense.
Business groups also advocated for another change which will give the Attorney General’s office exclusive enforcement power.