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Massachusetts Just Took a Big Step Toward Closing the Wage Gap

The Massachusetts Legislature unanimously passed the strongest equal pay law in the country during a rare weekend session on July 23, and it is waiting for Republican Gov. Charlie Baker's signature.

Sen. Karen Spilka, a co-sponsor of the bill, told the Boston Herald that the measure "finally put a nail in the coffin of the gender pay gap."

Massachusetts' businesses have nearly two years to implement the requirements. On July 1, 2018, employers will be required to pay all employees the same wage for the same or "comparable" positions, regardless of gender. Comparable work is defined not by a job title or description, but instead by the nature of the work, which requires "substantially similar skill, effort and responsibility…performed under similar working conditions." Employers will also be barred from asking for a salary history from prospective hires—although job candidates can still volunteer that information during the hiring process. This will make Massachusetts the only state with such a requirement.


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