A recently-passed pay equity law requires Commonwealth employers to pay men and women equally for comparable work. It also prohibits them from asking candidates about their salary history as part of the screening process or during an interview. This legislation is an important step toward advancing more equal, inclusive and thriving workplaces throughout the Commonwealth for women and families, said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, in a release Monday. Employers will have to wait until after they extend a formal offer, that includes compensation, to ask about a potential hires salary history. The law, which goes into effect July 2018, also allows workers to openly discuss their salaries without retaliation from their employer. Supporters of the law say disclosing salary requirements can hurt the wage trajectory of women since they tend to earn less than men. In Massachusetts, women earned 82 cents for every dollar a male earned in 2014, according to American Association of University Women. The gender wage gap has a real impact on the lives of women. It puts families at risk, and makes self-sufficiency in retirement more difficult, said State Auditor Suzanne Bump in a statement. On a national level, the government reports that women earn an average of about 79 cents for every dollar a man makes.
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