Gender Pay Equity in Florida: Two Bills that Could Make a Difference

Mary Gatta, who will be the speaker during tomorrow’s Women Aging into Poverty in North Florida event hosted by the Women’s Giving Alliance, was a recent guest columnist for Jacksonville.com, writing about why Florida must act to ensure gender pay equity.  She brought to light two important pieces of legislation in the Florida legislature that could make an unbelievable difference in our state–House Bill 393 and Senate Bill 594.  From Mary’s column:

In addition to defining clearly the reasons for which an employer is permitted to pay employees at different rates — and increased penalties for violations — these bills prohibit employers from asking job seekers about their previous salary history.

The premise is relatively simple:

Instead of basing salaries on a job seeker’s past earnings, salaries must be based on the market value of the job.

Eliminating the salary history question is a crucial step in addressing the pay gap for women — when women are asked their salary history, any gender bias that was part of their previous salary is too often carried into the salary of a new job.

As a result, if an employer bases someone’s salary on what they were earning previously — and if they weren’t being paid fairly in that job — unequal pay continues, even amplifying itself throughout one’s career.

By eliminating the salary history question, women would be freed from any gender biases they may have experienced in the past.

 

We will be sure to keep our eye on the progress of these bills.