STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2200
RE: S.B. No. 2351
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Labor and Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 2351 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EQUAL PAY,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Prohibit prospective employers from requesting or considering a job applicant's prior wage or salary history in the job application process; and
(2) Prohibit enforced wage secrecy and prohibit retaliation or discrimination against employees who disclose, discuss, or inquire about their own or coworkers' wages for the purpose of exercising rights under the law.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawai‘i Civil Rights Commission, Commission on the Status of Women, YWCA O‘ahu, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, Hawai‘i State Democratic Women's Caucus, Hawaii State AFL-CIO, American Association of University Women of Hawaii, Windward Oahu Branch of the American Association of University Women, Americans for Democratic Action, and eighteen individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii and one individual. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Hawaii Food Industry Association.
Your Committees find that pay disparity persists between men and women who do similar work. Existing Hawaii law generally prohibits an employer from paying an employee at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex; however, in 2015, the gender wage gap in Hawaii stood at sixteen cents on the dollar and more than twenty cents on the dollar for women of color. This wage gap extends across almost all occupations reporting in Hawaii. Your Committees further find that the ability of employers to consider a job applicant's previous salary history and pay secrecy are contributing factors to the gender pay disparity. Your Committees find that this measure is a step toward ending pay discrimination against women, particularly women of color.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Labor and Judiciary that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2351 and recommend that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Labor and Judiciary,
BRIAN T. TANIGUCHI, Chair
JILL N. TOKUDA, Chair