After working for two years to close the gender wage gap, State Rep. Derek Slap has helped to pass a bipartisan pay equity bill.
House Bill 5386, “An Act Concerning Various Pay Equity and Fairness Matters,” passed the state House of Representatives Thursday by an overwhelming 142-4 bipartisan vote. The bill now heads to the state Senate for further consideration.
“In Connecticut, women earn 83-cents for every dollar paid to men. The gender wage gap affects families at all income levels and all professions. The House’s passage of this landmark legislation helps ensure that employees earn a salary that is reflective of their qualifications and the job requirements. Passing this legislation will help businesses hire and retain a more diverse workforce, and will help boost our economy. Thank you to the West Hartford residents, students and business owners who testified in support of this bill and who helped propel this legislation forward,” said Slap, D-West Hartford.
Under this bill, employers would be prohibited from asking prospective employees about their previous wages, as evidence shows women disproportionately carry lower salaries from one job to the next.
Since taking office, Slap has championed efforts to close the gender wage gap.
Slap assembled a bipartisan working group in the fall and worked with stakeholders – businesses large and small, students, non-profit organizations, municipal chambers of commerce and advocacy groups – to move this legislation forward.
According to the National Women’s Law Center, women in Connecticut – on average – have to work until age 70 to earn what a man makes by the time he is 60.
“The wage gap costs women in Connecticut more than $500,000 over the course of their careers. This is not just a women’s issue, it’s a family issue. This bill will help us create a more equitable future for our daughters, sisters and mothers, and will allow Connecticut to remain competitive with surrounding states that have already taken action. Connecticut stands to be the fifth state to pass a law that would close the gender wage gap,” said Slap.