Pay equity bill crafted by West Hartford legislators wins final approval

May 5, 2018

State Rep. Derek Slap, D-West Hartford, applauded the state Senate’s passage of legislation Friday that would help close the gender wage gap.

House Bill 5386, “An Act Concerning Various Pay Equity and Fairness Matters,” passed the state Senate in a 35 to 1. The bill previously passed the state House of Representatives April 19 in an overwhelming 142 to 4 bipartisan vote.

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

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.

“Women and their families lose on average more than $500,000 in lifetime earnings because of the gender wage gap. Eliminating the pay history question will make a difference by ensuring that being paid unfairly once doesn’t doom someone to a lifetime of being lowballed. This bipartisan bill took two years of work and I’m thankful for the partnership of Senator Bye and many of my other colleagues,” said Rep. Slap.

“Equal pay can improve conditions for all families and ensure that women have proper retirement savings. Right now, women have to work 11 years more than a man to achieve the same standard of living in retirement,” said state Sen. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford. “Our pay equity bill will help women earn what they deserve for life.”

Since taking office, Rep. Slap has championed efforts to close the gender wage gap. In the fall, Rep. Slap and Sen. Bye assembled a bipartisan working group and worked with stakeholders – businesses large and small, students, nonprofit organizations, municipal chambers of commerce and advocacy groups – to help enact this legislation.

In Connecticut, women working full-time earn 83-cents for every dollar paid to men. Each year, Connecticut women lose a combined $5.5 billion due to the wage gap.

Press Release: Pay equity bill crafted by West Hartford legislators wins final approval