Reps. Adrianne Ramos of North Andover and Ryan M. Hamilton were among the 148 state representatives last week voting in favor of a bill requiring companies with 25 or more employees to disclose a salary range when posting a position and protects an employee’s right to ask for salary ranges in the workplace.
The Frances Perkins Workplace Equity Act passed with eight Republicans opposed and moves to the state Senate.
“As a woman who has worked in a male dominated field, I’ve watched female colleagues pay the unspoken ‘mommy’ tax and take home lower pay, often contributing to the exodus of talented women from the workforce,” Ramos said. She added she co-sponsored the original bill because “this will help place women and people of color on equal footing as their counterparts and eliminate the stigma surrounding discusses of pay in the workforce.”
Ramos represents Groveland, West Newbury, parts of Amesbury, parts of Boxford and North Andover, while Hamilton represents parts of Haverhill and Methuen. Rep. Francisco Paulino, representing parts of Methuen and Lawrence, also was present and supported the legislation locally.
In Greater Boston, women on average were paid 70 cents for every dollar earned by a man in 2021, according to the Boston Women’s Workforce Council. This gap widens among communities of color, where Black and Latina women have the highest gender and racial wage gaps of 51 and 55 cents, respectively.
If the bill is signed into law, Massachusetts would become the 11th state to mandate pay transparency by requiring employers to disclose salary ranges, according to the National Women’s Law Center. This legislation builds on Massachusetts’ Equal Pay Act which was passed by the Legislature in 2016 to bring more fairness and equality to workplaces.
The bill also requires employers with more than 100 employees to share their federal equal employment opportunity reports with the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, which would then be aggregated and published to help identify gender and racial wage gaps by industry.