COLUMBUS– State Reps. Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park) and Juanita O. Brent (D-Cleveland) today reintroduced the Ohio Equal Pay Act in honor of Equal Pay Day being recognized across America. Introduced as House Bill 232 in the 134th General Assembly, the legislation will take crucial and long overdue steps to close the gender and racial wealth gap that currently hurts too many working families in Ohio.
“Equal Pay Day is the day where we recognize the shameful pay discrepancies between men and women in our state. The gap is even wider for Black women, Latina women, Asian-American women, Native women and others,” said Rep. Miranda. “The Ohio Equal Pay Act will empower women, families, businesses, and the LGBTQIA+ community. It will also ensure retirement security, lower poverty rates, and boost economic growth in our state. That’s why I am proud to carry the torch on this vital issue during this General Assembly.”
“There is gender and race bias in the United States when it comes to pay that hurts. It is about time to end wage inequalities in our workplaces. The predatory actions of businesses to create the pay disparity against women of color and mothers does not help any Ohioan,” said Rep. Brent. “The average lifetime wage disparities would allow women to pay for a home, invest more into retirement or other options. Wage inequality does not only affect women but the families who are short-changed out of the funds they need to live.”
This bill would:
- Requires businesses with four or more employees, who contract with the state or receive state economic development grants or other development packages, to obtain an Equal Pay Certificate, which will certify that the employer offers growth opportunities to all employees regardless of gender.
- Prohibits gag orders on employees that keep them from talking about their salaries with one another.
- Prohibits an employer from requesting information regarding or seeking a prospective employee’s wage or salary history from the prospective employee or the current or former employer.
- Requires government entities to evaluate their employees’ pay scales to ensure that compensation is based on similar skills, effort, responsibilities and working conditions across job categories so that adjustments can be made as needed where woman dominated job categories have been undervalued.
The bill was delivered to the House Clerk’s Office Tuesday and now awaits referral to a House committee.