Delaware Governor Signs Gender Pay Gap Law

By: - June 15, 2017 12:00 am

An Equal Pay Day event, with a lemonade stand where women pay 79 cents for a cup and men pay $1 — to highlight the wage gap. Despite transparency rules and standardized pay rates, states still struggle with gender pay inequities in their government workforces.

© Molly Riley/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Delaware Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, has signed a new law prohibiting prospective employers from asking job applicants about their salary history.

The law also bars employers from screening applicants based on their previous compensation.

In the absence of legislation from the U.S. Congress, governors in California, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, North Dakota and Oregon have signed equal pay laws in recent years.

The latest move to outlaw disparate pay arrives as new studies indicate that American women earn 80 percent of what men earn doing comparable work. 

A study released Monday by the Harvard Business Review found that the gap widens as workers age. The report found that the average male college graduate by his early forties earns 55 percent more than the average female college graduate of the same age.

In public workforces, male state workers earn more than their female counterparts in many states.

In a statement, Carney said the Delaware law would address the “persistent wage gap between men and women” and guarantee men and women would be paid the same for equal work. 

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Teresa Wiltz

Teresa Wiltz covers welfare, housing and social services for Stateline. Previously, she worked for the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune.