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The State’s New Pay-Equity Law Takes Effect Soon, and Lawyers Say Many Businesses Aren’t Ready

2.22.18

Cheryl Pinarchick, a founding Co-Chair of the Pay Equity Practice Group, is quoted in the Boston Business Journal article “The State’s New Pay-Equity Law Takes Effect Soon, and Lawyers Say Many Businesses Aren’t Ready.” This article highlights confusion among businesses before the new Massachusetts Equal Pay Act takes effect.

The new equal pay law requires companies to have gender pay equality for similar work, with some exceptions. Massachusetts businesses proceeded cautiously last year as they waited for guidance from the attorney general’s office.

While the guidance offered much-needed help to companies scrambling to get ready for July 1, the attorney general’s office left open as many questions as it answered, according to attorneys. “The ambiguity here is greater than in a lot of other laws,” said Cheryl.

Cheryl noted that questions were centered on the term “comparable work,” which was broader than the previous one, in which equal pay was required for workers performing similar duties. Now, employers must pay men and women equally for jobs that require “substantially similar skill, effort and responsibility” and are performed under “similar working conditions,” the law states. That could include workers with different job titles in different departments of a company.

This type of uncertainty leads to litigation, leaving businesses at risk for lawsuits.

To read the full article, visit Boston Business Journal.

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