Will The Pay Equity Bill Reduce The Mass. Wage Gap?

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Let's say there are two employees and, on paper, it seems like they do roughly the same job. One is a man, the other is a woman. There shouldn't be a gender-based pay gap between these two, right?

But, what if the woman had a decade more experience, and she'd done well on the job? And the man was a newly-minted college graduate who wasn't trying to prove himself? Should there be a pay gap, then? But what if, on paper, they are doing "comparable work"?

That phrase, "comparable work," is one of the sticking points in the current pay equity bill under consideration on Beacon Hill. The proposal would, among other things, seek to define "comparable work" in Massachusetts. It's one of those "devil in the details" that Gov. Charlie Baker talks about. So, we want to really understand those details and ask, what is "comparable work?" How do you define it? Should the statehouse even try to define it? What impact could it have on Massachusetts workers and employers?


Victoria Budson, executive director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. She's also chair of the state's Commission on the Status of Women, which advised the bills sponsors.

This segment aired on June 30, 2016.


Emma-Jean Weinstein Associate Producer, Radio Boston
Emma-Jean Weinstein was formerly an associate producer for Radio Boston.


Meghna Chakrabarti Host, On Point
Meghna Chakrabarti is the host of On Point.



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