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Paycheck Fairness Act Would Allow Employees To Discuss Their Salaries

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — Another effort is being made to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act  to guarantee equal pay for women.

The act would allow colleagues to openly discuss their salaries. Currently, it is not allowed at some companies.

“So an individual can be fired for talking about how much they make to try and make sure they make the same as a male counterpart,” said Albert Chamberland, Easthampton labor lawyer.

The act’s co-sponsor U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) says it will also help close the loopholes that have kept women from making equal pay. According to Sen. Mikulski women make on average just 77 cents for every dollar made by a man for equal work.

Carla Oleska, CEO of the Easthampton based non-profit The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts supports the act.

“Sure it will make some people uncomfortable, but once we start saying okay attorneys with this level of output, client hours and education, productivity all earning this, guess what then you don’t have to discuss anymore do you?” said Oleska.

She believes it will help more than just women in the work place.

“What we do for one group ultimately in the big picture benefits everyone,” said Oleska.

The act also would allow for women to seek back pay and damages if they’re victims of wage discrimination.

Congress has rejected this act before. In June of 2012, Senate republicans voted it down.

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