Closing the pay gap

A new law in the state of Massachusetts may bring the United States one step closer to closing the gender pay gap that has long persisted in the American workplace.

According to The Cut, on Monday, Aug. 1, Governor Charlie Baker (R) “signed into law a bill making it illegal for employers to ask prospective employees for their salary histories before offering them a job.”

The first state to pass such means, the law now makes it mandatory for Massachusetts employers to state a salary’s position outright, reports The Cut, instead of allowing the applicant to share their personal salary history. The Cut frames the potential benefits of the new law this way:

“This effort is one big step in attempting to correct years of women getting paid less for the same jobs as men, because it ostensibly prevents a company lowballing a woman based on her gender and previous salary history. It instead forces companies to look at her relevant experience first.”

Also aiding in the fight against the pay gap is that the law makes it illegal for companies to forbid employees from sharing their salaries with each other, which allows for greater salary transparency, according to The Cut. This makes Massachusetts the 13th state with such a measure in place, The Cut reports.

While The Cut says the law will be officially enacted in July 2018, others may follow suit in the mean time.

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