2018 Written Testimony | Support HB 0512 Labor and Employment-Pay Scales and Wage History Information

  • House Bill 0512 - Labor and Employment - Pay Scales and Wage History Information
  • Economic Matters Committee – February 13, 2018

Thank you for this opportunity to submit written testimony concerning an important priority of the Woman’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County (WDC) for the 2018 legislative session. WDC is one of the largest and most active Democratic Clubs in our County with more than 600 politically active women and men, including many elected officials.

WDC urges the passage of HB0512. This bill prohibits employers from relying on past wage history information to determine an applicant’s salary, or a current employee’s salary when considering that employee for a new position, including a promotion. However, if an employer makes a job offer, an applicant or employee can volunteer his/her salary history to support a higher wage offer. This bill also requires employers to provide salary information to applicants upon request. This bill authorizes the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to assess penalties on employers that violate the law.

This bill is of particular importance to working women because it increases salary transparency and prohibits discriminatory practices that result in paying lower salaries to equally qualified women because of their prior salary history. Numerous studies have documented that there are persistent gender and racial pay gaps. Women are paid 80 cents for every dollar that men earn and the gap is wider for African American and Hispanic women. Recent studies have correlated salary history, especially starting salary history, with these gaps. WDC urges Maryland to join California, Massachusetts, and other jurisdictions, in the growing movement to ensure salaries are based on merit and job requirements, not salary history. Everyone deserves equal pay for equal skills and equal work.

We ask for your support for HB0512 and strongly urge a favorable Committee report.