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State Senate unanimously passes 'Paycheck Equity Act'
The bill is the brainchild of Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen of Concord, who said that wage discrimination does exist in the state. She said federal labor statistics show that women make an average of 77 percent of the wages earned by men for the same jobs.
The bill allows for the possibility of differences in pay based on the specific duties of a job as well as workers’ experience and education.
Larsen said, “This bill is not election-year rhetoric. This is kitchen table common sense.”
She said pay inequity between men and women in New Hampshire is real and averages $11,000 on an annual basis.
The bill extends the statute of limitations for bringing an action against an employer from one to three years, Larsen said.
Sens. Bette Lasky, D-Nashua, and Peggy Gilmour, D-Hollis, said they were paid less than male co-workers in similar positions many years ago. They said it is time for New Hampshire to ensure such practices cannot continue.
After the vote, Gov. Maggie Hassan called the vote “an overwhelming, bipartisan affirmation of the principle that an equal day’s work deserves an equal day’s pay. This common-sense measure to help eliminate the pay gap between women and men will strengthen our economy and the financial security of working families across our state.”
Larsen said the bill, when enacted, will give women “the much needed tools they need to combat the wage gap.”
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