(BOSTON) – Representative Harold P. Naughton, Jr., along with his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, were proud to mark July 1st as the day that the Equal Pay Act went into effect. Passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Baker two years ago, the Equal Pay Act ensures that employers in Massachusetts are prohibited from paying employees less than peers doing comparable work based on their gender. Comparable work is specified as substantially similar skill, effort, and responsibility performed under similar conditions.
“There’s no excuse for women in the Massachusetts workforce to be paid less than their male counterparts for doing the same job. For too long female employees have been subjected to unfair treatment without a means of pursuing legal action against their employers. This bill empowers women throughout the Commonwealth to receive the compensation that they’re entitled to with the backing of the state,” said Representative Naughton. “I’m proud of the legislation that my colleagues and I passed in the House two years ago. Now, we all get to see these vital and just protections go into effect.”
The law builds upon prior legislation that also prohibited gender income inequality. However, the Equal Pay Act allows employees subjected to unequal pay on the basis of gender to pursue civil litigation against their employer. In the lead up to the law taking effect on July 1st, employers ranging from the public to private sector have been obligated to adjust their payrolls and recruiting practices in order to adhere to the legal changes.