Oregon just took a major step to make equal pay a reality.
According to a news release published on the Oregon Business Report, Governor Kate Brown signed into law the Equal Pay Act of 2017, a law that aims to “address pay disparities among women, minorities and other protected classes.”
The release says that the new law blocks employers from “compensating certain protected classes” — which are defined by characteristics such as race, sex, marital status and disability, among other things — less than their co-workers for work “requiring substantially similar knowledge, skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions.”
Furthermore, the law explains the circumstances in which pay is considered “lawful,” which includes instances in which pay differences are doles out based on merit, seniority, quality or quantity of work or experience level. The act even affects employers in the hiring process, outlawing the act of learning a candidate’s previous pay and setting their current pay at a rate equivalent to that of their previous or current position.
Let’s hope other states soon follow suit!