Pay equity bills co-sponsored by Slap unanimously pass key committee

March 21, 2018

Legislation co-sponsored by state Rep. Derek Slap and state Sen. Beth Bye to help close the gender wage gap cleared a legislative hurdle Tuesday after it received bipartisan support and passed a key committee.

The legislature’s Labor and Public Employees Committee voted unanimously to pass Senate Bill 15 and House Bill 5386, sending the bills to the House of Representatives and Senate for further consideration. Both bills would eliminate the pay history question from the job application and interview process, something Slap has been fighting for since taking office in 2017. (Employers would still be able to ask about salary expectations and requirements to assess compatibility).

Women in Connecticut earn approximately 80-cents on the dollar for the same job as their male counterparts. This disparity costs women and their families, on average, more than $10,000 each year. Over the course of a career, it’s estimated that women lose at least $400,000 – one reason the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has endorsed eliminating the salary history question.  

“If the current trend continues, the gender wage gap won’t close for 50 years,” said Slap, D-West Hartford. “That’s too long for our daughters, spouses and sisters to wait. Helping to ensure women are paid fairly isn’t just the right thing to do – it will help Connecticut compete with other states and municipalities that have already taken action.”

“This is an important next step,” said Bye, D-West Hartford. “Rep. Slap worked hard to bring all the constituents and stakeholders to the table and that’s helped create this bipartisan result. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to get this critical legislation passed.”

Massachusetts, California, Oregon and Delaware have laws banning employers from asking the pay history of job candidates. New York City, Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Philadelphia have also followed suit. 

“AARP is pleased to offer our support for both S.B. 15 and H.B. 5386, which seek to ensure equal pay for equal work. This is achieved through a prohibition on requiring a potential employee to disclose previous salary information. While important to all, this is something that is very important to older job seekers in a competitive market where their previous salary can work against them and potentially in favor of younger workers with less well established work and salary histories, even when the expectation of a salary in-line with previous salaries may not exist. I personally facilitate a program for age 50+ job seekers to several hundred people each year and I have presented on numerous AARP digital/webinar programs that bring in tens of thousands of participants form across the country. This issue never fails to be raised as a concern,” said Nora Duncan, AARP’s state director.

“I’m grateful for the leadership of the chairs of the labor committee, state Rep. Robyn Porter and state Sen. Ed Gomes, in helping to move this legislation forward,” said Slap. “I’m also gratified that this was approved in bipartisan fashion and hopeful that this cooperation and collaboration will continue as the legislation gets closer to a final vote in both chambers.” 

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Press Release: Pay equity legislation Slap co-sponsored passes key committee