BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House has passed a bill aimed at helping ensure pay equity between men and women in the workplace.

The bill approved unanimously Thursday would bar employers from discriminating based on gender when it comes to wages and other compensation, unless the variation is based upon a mitigating factor like seniority. It would also prevent employers from requesting salary history when hiring.

Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey said the bill balances the needs of workers and the business community.

The Senate approved their version of the bill in January. It would allow variations based on merit-based factors such as sales, experience or education.

Democratic legislative leaders and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker have identified the pay equity measure as one of a half-dozen major bills they hope to complete this session.

July 15 ,2016