THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

509

TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

rELATING TO EQUAL PAY.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that pay disparity persists between men and women. The Institute for Women's Policy Research reports that if the pace of change continues at the same rate as it has since 1960, women and men will not reach pay parity until 2059.

The legislature finds that in 2014, the gender wage gap in Hawaii stood at 14.2 cents on the dollar. A woman working full-time and year-round earned an average of 85.8 cents to every dollar a man earned. This wage gap extends across almost all occupations reporting in Hawaii. The gap is far worse for women of color: African American women in Hawaii make only 73.4 cents for every dollar a white male makes; Latina women make only 61.3 cents for every dollar a white male makes; and Asian American women make only 73.3 cents for every dollar a white male makes.

The legislature also finds that pay secrecy undermines efforts to close the pay gap. A 2010 Institute for Women's Policy Research/Rockefeller Survey of Economic Security reported that 23.1 per cent of private sector workers reported that discussion of wages and salaries was formally prohibited, and an additional 38.1 per cent reported that such discussion was discouraged by managers. Pay secrecy inhibits workers from pursuing claims of pay discrimination because women cannot challenge wage discrimination that they do not know exists. The federal government and many states have taken action to end wage secrecy by prohibiting retaliation against employees who discuss wages. Hawaii can also take this step by banning wage secrecy and banning retaliation or discrimination against employees who disclose or discuss their wages.

The purpose of this Act is to encourage equal pay between men and women by prohibiting enforced wage secrecy and prohibiting retaliation or discrimination against employees who disclose, discuss, or inquire about their own or co-workers' wages for the purpose of exercising rights under the law.

SECTION 2. Section 378-2.3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]378-2.3[]] Equal pay; sex discrimination. (a) No employer shall discriminate between employees because of sex, by paying wages to employees in an establishment at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in the establishment for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions. Payment differentials resulting from:

(1) A seniority system;

(2) A merit system;

(3) A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production;

(4) A bona fide occupational qualification; or

(5) A differential based on any other permissible factor other than sex

do not violate this section.

(b) An employer shall not retaliate or discriminate against an employee for, nor prohibit an employee from disclosing the employee's wages, discussing and inquiring about the wages of other employees, or aiding or encouraging any other employee to exercise rights under this section."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2017.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Pay Equity; Gender Discrimination

 

Description:

Prohibits enforced wage secrecy and retaliation or discrimination against employees who disclose, discuss, or inquire about their own or co-workers' wages.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.