Gov. Charlie Baker Signs Equal Pay Law

Equal pay for equal work has been inked.

baker pay equity

Photo by Sam Doran/SHNS

The gender pay gap in Massachusetts is officially on its way to being closed.

On Monday afternoon, Gov. Charlie Baker signed the equal pay law, which mandates equal pay for equal work for men and women.

According to the State House News Service, Baker identified the pay equity bill as one of the major bills he hoped the Legislature would pass so he could sign it.

“Today in Massachusetts we say, equal pay for equal work is not just a slogan, it’s the law,” said Sen. Patricia Jehlen, who first cosponsored a version of the equal pay bill in 1998.

The law lays out guidelines defining the “equal pay for equal work” clause, which factors in things like education, seniority, training, and performance.

In addition to prohibiting gender discrimination when it comes to wages, the law forbids businesses from requiring job applicants to reveal their salary history. It also allows businesses to use self-evaluations to be used as defenses in pay discrimination claims.

“This is a Commonwealth of Mass. that in 1954 passed the first legislation around gender discrimination and I think it’s incredibly apt that we would be one of the first states in the country here today to pass legislation to ensure that people are paid what they are worth, based only on what they are worth,” Baker told the State House News Service.

Previously, both the Senate and the House voted unanimously in favor of the equal pay bill. Good thing everyone was on board, because a study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research reported that the Massachusetts wage gap was expected to persist until 2058 if changes weren’t made.

You can read the full text of the legislation here.