(Montpelier) - Today at one o’clock Governor Scott signed H.294, a new law prohibiting inquiries about salary history.
It prohibits employers from requesting salary history of prospective employees or their current or former employers, requiring the prospective employees’ prior salary history meet minimum or maximum criteria, and determining whether to interview a prospective employee based on their current or past compensation. If the prospective employee voluntarily discloses previous or current compensation in the hiring process, the employer, once they offer the job, can seek to confirm that information. In addition, employers may inquire about salary expectations or requirements, and provide information about the position’s salary and compensation.
At the signing, Governor Scott, addressing the legislation as a workforce initiative, remarked, “This important piece of legislation will allow workers who have suffered from lower wages due to gender, race, or other forms of discrimination an opportunity to get out of the pay gap cycle, and receive equal pay for equal work. For those who have been held back by their pay history, the legislation opens the door to new opportunities. This will prevent hiring equally skilled or experienced employees at different rates simply because one person was paid more in a previous job. Prior to this bill, low wage workers could be held back from climbing the economic ladder, because they were required to reveal their past wages when applying for this new position.”
Cary Brown, Executive Director of Vermont Commission on Women, provided testimony in both the House and the Senate on this bill and its relationship to the gender wage gap. She stated, “When the pay at a new job is based on the pay at an old job, this can force women, and especially women of color, to carry pay discrepancies with them from job to job. A pay disparity early on can haunt a woman for her entire career.”
Equal Pay Day’s date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year due to the gender wage gap.
The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW), the League of Women Voters of Vermont, and Vermont Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW) invite the public to join this annual gathering of advocates at the State House the morning of Equal Pay Day, Tuesday, April 10th, to help bring attention to the gender wage gap.
Upon opening of the day’s legislative session, projected to be 10:30 a.m., a resolution designating it Equal Pay Day in Vermont will be read in the House, put forth by lead sponsor Representative Mollie Burke and other policymakers, and observed by advocates (like you) dressed in red, symbolizing women being “in the red” due to the gender wage gap.
At noon Governor Scott will sign an Equal Pay Day proclamation in his ceremonial office. This event will feature several speakers, including Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant, UVM's Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Marilyn Grunewald, BPW Parliamentarian, and Cary Brown, VCW's Executive Director.
Change The Story VT (CTS) along with Vermont Business and Professional Women invite policy makers and guests to enjoy coffee in the cafeteria after lunch to mark Equal Pay Day and share information about how the gender wage gap impacts Vermonters. CTS partner Vermont Works for Women will provide their delicious Peanut Butter Bars by suggested wage gap-related donation.
We’re excited to be joined in the State House by advocates participating in the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence’s annual Legislative Day!
Interested in joining us? We’ve love to have you! RSVPs to VCW.firstname.lastname@example.org are appreciated, but not necessary.
Choosing not to negotiate is leaving some serious money on the table. Over 50% of women say they are apprehensive about negotiating and only 30% of women consistently negotiate salaries. For many of us, even the thought of negotiating makes us nervous. How much do I ask for? When is the best time to do it? What if I don't feel like I deserve more? Let's answer these questions and more! This workshop is designed to teach you how to negotiate with confidence. We'll make sure you avoid the traps many of us fall into and leave plenty of time for practice. Vermont Commission on Women's workshops are sponsored by the New England Women’s Policy Initiative and will be facilitated by Lindsey Lathrop, Career Coach at FromWithin Coaching.
Brattleboro’s Emilie Kornheiser kicks off the Vermont Commission on Women’s (VCW) statewide community listening project at the River Garden this Friday, as part of Brattleboro’s Strolling of the Heifers noontime Brown Bag Lunch series. Her discussion, “Women and the Economy,” will center on the place, needs, and strengths of women in Brattleboro. This event is FREE and open to the public. Thoughts and comments will help shape VCW’s policy work for women and families. More info at strollingoftheheifers.com/calendar/commission-on-women/.
Commissioner Kornheiser was appointed to serve VCW in 2017 by Speaker of the House, Mitzi Johnson. She is currently the Early Childhood Action Plan Director with Building Bright Futures, improving the quality, affordability, and accessibility of services for families with children under age six in the areas of health, early care, and education. Prior to this position, she worked with Promise Communities for the State of Vermont, supporting communities to identify and achieve shared outcomes for young children and families. Before transitioning to local service, she was an international development consultant, strategizing, training, brokering, and evaluating partnerships between private corporations and government agencies to meet humanitarian and community development goals. She has worked overseas promoting democracy and supporting small business development, in various positions at community-based organizations serving vulnerable populations throughout Vermont, and started her own small business in Brattleboro. She is Vice President of the board of the Brattleboro Food Coop, a town meeting representative, and a founding member of the Windham County Action Network.
Vermont Commission on Women is a non-partisan state commission working to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls since 1964. Sixteen volunteer commissioners and representatives from twenty-seven organizations concerned with women's issues guide VCW's public education, coalition building, and advocacy efforts. For more information, please visit women.vermont.gov.