STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, MA – Rep. Josh Cutler and Sen. Patricia Jehlen, Chairs of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, announce that their pay range transparency legislation, co-filed with Rep. Brandy Fluker Oakley, will be heard at a hearing on Tuesday, May 9 at the State House.
Professional soccer player Samantha Mewis will also be in attendance to testify in support of the bills (H.1849/S.1191) which would require companies with fifteen or more employees to disclose salary ranges for new job postings, promotions, transfers, and when requested by current employees. Data shows that publication of salary ranges on job postings help reduce historical gender and racial pay gaps.
“Our fight for equal pay was successful. For many others, the fight is still ongoing. Without understanding the financial benefits and resources the men’s team were receiving, we would not even have known the level of discrimination we were facing,” said Mewis, who has been a member of the United States Women’s National Team since 2016, winning the World Cup in 2019 and a bronze medal at the Olympics in 2021. “We know that leveling the playing field in this way and shining a light on these pay disparities is the first step to ensuring equal pay for equal work. Massachusetts has been a leader in equal pay in the past but more action is needed now.”
The legislation filed by Rep. Cutler, Sen Jehlen, and Rep. Fluker Oakley stipulates that the pay range must reasonably represent what an employer expects to pay for the position at the time, a provision intended to head off potential issues with unrealistically wide wage ranges being published. It also directs the attorney general to conduct a public awareness outreach campaign, so applicants and employees know their rights and employers are aware of new obligations.
“Anyone who has gone through the hiring process, whether it’s as an employer or a job seeker, and not realized until the end that there was a broad gap in salary expectation can understand the advantage of pay range transparency from the start,” said Rep. Cutler. “Posting salary ranges is already a common practice in many industries, but some businesses are reluctant to do so for fear of being put at a competitive disadvantage. Having a uniform state law solves that issue and puts everyone on level playing field.”
"Many workers, especially women and people of color, underestimate their own value in the job market," said Senator Jehlen, the original author of the 2016 Equal Pay Act. "The 2016 Equal Pay Act made real progress on breaking down barriers. But some employers raised a new barrier, by asking, 'what are your salary expectations?' This bill will give workers a better chance to be paid fairly by giving them straight forward information on how much a job could be worth."
Added Rep. Fluker Oakley, “In Massachusetts, on average Black women make 61 cents and Latina women make 50 cents for every dollar that a white man makes,” said Rep. Fluker Oakley. “Knowing a salary range is an important and reasonable step to narrow both the racial and gender wage gaps, by helping applicants and underpaid coworkers to understand and negotiate for the wages that they deserve.
The bill is also supported by the Wage Equity Now (WEN) coalition, a group of more than 80 labor, business, civil rights, social service, racial justice and women’s right organizations.
WHAT: Hearing on Pay Range Transparency Legislation (H.1849/S.1191)
WHEN: Tuesday, May 9, 1:00pm– 4:00pm
(Mewis is expected to testify between 2:00 and 2:30pm)
WHERE: State House Room A-1, Hybrid option available