Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signs Pay Equity bill (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

HARTFORD, CT — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation Tuesday that makes Connecticut the fifth state in the nation to ban the pay history question.

Malloy said the legislation takes a “real and important step” toward pay equity in Connecticut. He said it’s unacceptable that Hispanic women earn just 47 cents for every dollar paid to white men. It’s 58 cents for black women and 82 cents for white women.

It mirrors legislation the governor proposed during his state-of-the-state address in February.

The premise of the legislation is that if women no longer have to disclose that they’ve been paid less than men in the past then maybe they will be able to earn more over the course of their career.

But it doesn’t necessarily resolve inequity in the workplace.

“It’s not the end of the road,” Malloy, who is not seeking re-election, said.

He encouraged lawmakers to continue to push for equity in the workplace.

Rep. Derek Slap, D-West Hartford, brought his wife and daughters to the bill signing ceremony. He said he doesn’t like to have to tell his daughter’s that they can be anything they want, but they will likely be paid less for their entire careers. He said he hopes the legislation begins to protect them against the pay gap most women experience.

“We currently rank 46 in the country in terms of life-time earnings lost,” Slap said. “That’s why I’m so pleased that today we’re going to become the fifth state in the country to ban the pay history question.”

Numerous studies have found that women are paid less in nearly every occupation, at every age, and at all educational levels. 

Sen. Mae Flexer, D-Killingly, said she’s glad they waited a year to pass legislation instead of trying to pass a bill that wouldn’t have really done anything because it wouldn’t have addressed the pay history question.

She said she hopes “Rep. Slap’s daughters don’t have to live in a world where women make less than men.”

The legislation was bipartisan and supported by House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, who was invited to Tuesday’s press conference but unable to attend because she was out of state.

Rep. Robyn Porter, D-New Haven, helped negotiate the legislation.

“Undoubtedly, I am humbled to have served as a catalyst for social and economic change and applaud everyone who played a role in making Connecticut the fifth state to join in the national movement to do right by working women,” Porter said. “This law will not only empower women, but will also capacitate communities, businesses, and our economy at-large to flourish and thrive, and for that I am forever grateful.”

She said this legislation will help families and communities.

“This is about leveling a playing field that has been uneven for far too long,” Porter said.

She said it will increase revenue to the state, but “I also think it’s important to build people up who are doing the work.”

She said she couldn’t have done it without the help of her colleagues.

Malloy said there’s a long history of discrimination against women in the workplace and it’s not going to be resolved overnight.

“This is a continuum of what we hope to be progress in closing a pay gap,” Malloy said.

The law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

Gov. Malloy signing Pay Equity bill.

Posted by on Tuesday, May 22, 2018