The bipartisan legislation, which strengthens pay equity laws, passed the State House Wednesday and is while it is being lauded as a step forward, supporters say more work remains.
State Rep. Derek Slap (D-West Hartford, Avon, Farmington) today helped to lead passage of HB 5591 – which strengthens Connecticut’s pay equity laws, and among things, protects workers from being penalized for taking approved parental leave. Slap, who introduced the original language pertaining to protecting employees who take leave for pregnancy and other parental-related leave, is pleased the bill passed.
“We know that closing the gender gap is good for families and good for the economy,” said Rep. Slap. “On average, unfair pay costs each working woman in Connecticut more than $10,000 every year. This is a positive step forward and I will continue to work on additional measures that ensure full equality.”
Kate Farrar, executive director of the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, said, “The bill voted on by the House is a positive step in the right direction to narrow the wage gap that impacts women’s wages, retirement, and lifetime earnings. We welcome continued opportunities to address this pervasive issue with lawmakers to achieve pay equity for women in our state.”
Unfortunately, the provision that would remove the pay history question from the hiring process was not part of the final language. Eliminating the so-called salary anchors for women is a powerful tool to help close the gender wage gap and it was approved unanimously by the Massachusetts legislature last year and signed into law.
“I will continue to advocate for this protection for women and their families,” said Slap. “This is an issue Democrats, Republicans and the business community should be able to come together on – as they did in our neighboring state and New York City.”
The bill passed the House, 139-9, and now awaits action in the Senate.
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