Maine lawmakers have signed off on a proposal to expand the state’s equal pay law to prevent discrimination on the basis of race.
The proposal from House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross received affirmative votes in both chambers of the Maine Legislature this week. The change would expand the current equal pay law, which prevents employers from discriminating between employees on the basis of sex by paying lower wages for comparable work on jobs that require comparable skill, effort and responsibility.
Ross’s proposal adds language that an employer may also not discriminate between employees on the basis of race. Ross said in a statement on Wednesday that the law change ‘will help close the racial wealth gap.’
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills must also sign off on the law change.