Charlie Baker, the governor of Massachusetts, signed the Act to Establish Pay Equality into law on Monday 1 August 2016, after it was unanimously passed by both the Massachusetts House and the Senate.
The new law will prevent pay discrimination for comparable work based on gender, as well as allowing employees to freely discuss their salaries with colleagues.
In addition, job applicants will not be required to provide their salary history to prospective employers before receiving a formal job offer. Instead, employers can take into account factors such as work experience, education, job training or target measurements as a basis for pay.
The bill will go into effect on 1 July 2018.
Baker said: “I am pleased to sign the bipartisan legislation to create a more level playing field in the Commonwealth [of Massachusetts] and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to earn a competitive salary for comparable work.”
Maura Healy, attorney general for Massachusetts, added: “This new law is an important step toward ensuring economic security for Massachusetts women and families. It makes vital updates that reflect our modern economy and balance the needs of workers and the business community.
“Pay equity is not only a women’s issue, it’s a family issue, and with this new law on the books, we are closer to closing the pay gap in our state.”