An Act to Establish Pay Equity

Sen. Pat Jehlen, s.2119, Rep. Ellen Story and Rep. Jay D. Livingstone

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Mass NOW proudly serves as a founding member of the Equal Pay Coalition. To learn more about the coalition’s efforts surrounding S. 2119, please click the image above.

 

Women in Massachusetts make up almost half the workforce. Women who work full time earn approximately 80.8% of what men who work full time earn, and lose a combined total of approximately $12,239,814,352 annually due to the wage gap. As of 2013, 40% of households with children under 18 included mothers who were either the sole or primary breadwinner for the family, up from 11% in 1960, and 57% of low-wage workers in Massachusetts are women. The wage gap, magnified over the course of a lifetime of earnings, can have a serious impact on the economic security of women. Since women live longer than men, lower wages makes it even harder to be self-sufficient throughout retirement.

BRIDGE THE WAGE GAP IN 3 WAYS:

1. EQUAL PAY FOR COMPARABLE WORK: This bill clarifies terminology in the existing law to effectively implement equal pay for comparable work.

2. PAY TRANSPARENCY: This bill permits employees to discuss their salaries with other employees. Pay transparency enables companies to resolve unwarranted disparities in compensation without employees filing complaints or lawsuits. The U.S. Department of Labor has found that pay transparency can decrease discrimination and investigations, saving companies time and money.

3) FAIRNESS IN HIRING PRACTICES AROUND WAGES: This bill requires employers when advertising jobs to include the minimum the job pays and prohibits employers from paying wages less than what is advertised. It also prohibits employers from paying wages less than what is advertised. It also prohibits employers from seeking salary history from job applicants, employees or from job applicants, employees or from another entity during the hiring process without an employee’s written authorization.

Click here to read the bill and track its progress through the State House.

 

 

An Act relative to transgender anti-discrimination

Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, S. 735, Rep. Byron Rushing and Rep. Denise Provost, H. 1577

Mass NOW proudly serves on the Freedom Massachusetts Steering Committee. To learn more about the work of Freedom Massachusetts as it relates to H. 1577/ S. 735, please click the image above.

 

This bill relative to transgender anti-discrimination would add “gender identity” to existing Massachusetts civil rights law for public accommodations, which currently prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, and marital status.

NOW is working with a series of LGBTQ organizations including the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition and Mass Equality to bring attention to the challenges transgender individuals face in Massachusetts. The Public Accommodations Bill will allow for transgender and gender non-conforming folks in the Commonwealth to have the adequate protections in public spaces. Mass NOW Inc would like to ensure the safety and protections of all people in the Commonwealth and would like to educate lawmakers and residents about gender identity.

 

An act establishing a paid family medical leave and temporary disability insurance program

Sen. Karen Spilka, S. 1008, Rep. Kenneth Gordon, H. 1718

Mass NOW proudly serves on the Freedom Massachusetts Steering Committee. To learn more about the work of Freedom Massachusetts as it relates to H. 1718/ S. 1008, please click the image above.

 

Emergencies arise for all of us at some point, but 1.2 million Massachusetts families risk losing their jobs if they take time off work to take care of a family medical emergency or after the birth of a child. Many workers who are eligible for leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act can’t afford to take unpaid time off work in an emergency. They’re often left having to choose between taking care of a child they love or the job that puts food on the table. Paid family and medical leave would allow these workers to take time to take care of their health or the health of a loved one without fear of losing their job.

The Family and Medical Leave and Temporary Disability Insurance Program Act will make employees eligible for up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to recover from a serious illness or injury, to care for a seriously ill or injured family member, or to care for a newborn, newly adopted, or new foster child. Employees will be eligible for temporary disability benefits equal to a percentage of their average weekly wages. Benefits will be funded through employer contributions to the new Family and Employment Security Trust Fund.

Paid family and medical leave would help our state’s workers, businesses, and economy. Workers could stay home with a newborn child or a seriously ill parent, or take time to recover after an unexpected illness. Businesses would benefit from healthier and more productive employees, while the reduction in worker turnover would generates savings for employers. Paid family and medical leave also keeps money in the pockets of families who then spend it in the local economy. California and New Jersey have had paid family and medical leave for years, and both workers and businesses report positive effects. In a survey six years after California’s law was implemented, 89 to 99 percent of employers reported that paid family and medical leave had either a “positive effect” or “no noticeable effect” on productivity, profitability/performance, turnover, and employee morale. We need paid family and medical leave for a simple reason: hardworking people shouldn’t have to choose between the job they need and the family they love.

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