Pay equity bill moving toward passage after negotiations with business community

Donovan, a Bristol Democrat, said she had just talked with a female lawyer who recalled being paid less than a man who worked in a junior position at a law firm. When that female lawyer confronted her boss, he told her the male lawyer “had a family to support” and she did not.

“That was the attitude,” said Donovan, who recalled being paid half as much as a male coach when she coached at a New Hampshire high school. “These are the things women my age have been through.”

But that will change, she said, under the legislation that resulted from many hours of negotiation with the business community.

The bill would update the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by, for example, preventing employers from paying women less than men for “substantially similar” work, rather than only for exactly the same work. And it would prohibit employers from relying on wage history to set pay when hiring.

The bill would clarify when employers can pay an employee differently…

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