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Legislation sponsored by state Sen. Cathy Breen, D-Falmouth, to promote pay equality in Maine received approval from the Legislature's Committee on Labor and Housing on Monday and is now heading to the full Maine House and Senate for votes. If LD 278, "An Act Regarding Pay Equality," is enacted, employers would risk being in violation of the Maine Human Rights Act if they ask questions about a prospective employee's prior wage history before an offer of employment is made. Supporters of the legislation say it would curb ongoing pay discrimination that can follow a worker through their entire career whenever employers base compensation on previous, unfair salary rates. "Reliance on salary history in hiring practices allows for past discrimination based on gender and other factors to follow workers from job to job," said Whitney Parrish of the Maine Women's Lobby, noting that Maine women are typically paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. That disparity is even greater for women of color or those with disabilities. Business groups, including the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Hospitality Maine and Retail Association of Maine, have testified that the bill is likely to “encourage litigation” and create unnecessary hurdles in the hiring process for certain occupations, such a commissioned salesperson, in which the previous wage structure is particularly relevant to the discussion.
Do you think LD 278, “An Act Regarding Pay Equality,” should become law?
Comments

02/28/19 AT 10:56 AM
Just more ineffective government meddling.

02/28/19 AT 10:56 AM
I feel asking about previous pay should be restricted to prevent unfair past salaries from haunting workers as they move through their career. I don't, however, feel it should be lumped in as a "women's" issue.

Falmouth
02/27/19 AT 02:49 PM
Why should an employer know person's prior compensation? Every hiring is a negotiation. An employer can make an offer and the job candidate can accept it, reject it or negotiate. I'm an employer and have never asked about prior compensation because it's none of my business. This one seems like a no-brainer. Nice work, Sen. Breen.

02/27/19 AT 04:49 PM
Regardless of gender, knowing a previous wage helps determine employee value, it's a regional and separate question than pay inequality

02/27/19 AT 02:49 PM
No Brainah!!!

02/27/19 AT 01:57 PM
But I will say that it is sad we need a law to make this happen. A job should pay a certain wage regardless of who might be doing it and to think that disabled people make even less than women is shameful!!

02/27/19 AT 01:57 PM
Government should stay out of what a company pays, who they hire and what benefits are offered. Employees can vote with their feet if they don't like a job offer. This won't make things more fair, just more complicated.

02/27/19 AT 12:18 PM
To date our Legislature has shown itself to be completely out of touch with reality when it comes to the private sector. Less government intervention is the key to enhancing the private sector. Perhaps the legislators should be forced to read Adam Smith's treatise on the economy before they start trying to form governmental regulations over which they have little if any experience.
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