(BOSTON-5/9/2023) Today, the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development held a hearing for a pair of bills seeking to achieve wage equity – S.1181, An Act relative to transparency in the workplace and S.1191, An Act relative to the pay range disclosure. Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) is a cosponsor of each bill and testified before the committee to urge a favorable vote.
S.1181 filed by Senator Paul Feeney (D- Foxborough) would require employers to submit wage data to the Commonwealth for the purpose of publishing an aggregated wage-data report to be made available to the public. These reports would then allow the Commonwealth to identify wage gaps within industry sectors and promote employer accountability.
During his testimony, O’Connor said, “Annual reports would provide employers with a tangible resource that shows them what their industry standard compensation looks like and allow them to remain competitive in attracting and retaining employees, improving workplace culture, and reducing pay discrimination.”
S.1191 filed by Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville) would require employers to publicly disclose salary ranges for all open positions. Similar bills have been passed in seven states and O’Connor says these laws have served as a benefit to both prospective employees and employers.
“Candidates avoid under-bidding for wages and are compensated properly, while employers can leverage this salary range as a means of advertising their transparent culture and strong compensation packages,” said O’Connor.
O’Connor also thanked his constituent Megan Driscoll for her expertise and leadership on the subject of wage equity. He noted how Driscoll has been “invaluable for promoting awareness and understanding the urgency to pass this bill.”
In his closing statement, O’Connor said, “Both bills will foster a transparent and supportive work environment, build on our strong pay equity laws in the Commonwealth, and improve economic outcomes and increase productivity.”
The Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development will vote on whether the bills should move forward with the legislative process in the coming months.
Senator Patrick O’Connor represents the First Plymouth and Norfolk district, which includes the towns of Cohasset, Duxbury, Hingham, Hull, Marshfield, Norwell, Scituate, and Weymouth. Sen. O’Connor and his staff may be reached at the State House at 617-722-1646 or by email at Patrick.O’[email protected].