Governor Steve Bullock and Representative Laurie Bishop Tuesday celebrated the passage of the Montana Paycheck Transparency Act out of committee. This marks the first time an equal pay bill has made it out of committee under Governor Bullock’s tenure.
“Pay inequity impacts all of us, yet in Montana, we are falling behind when it comes to equal pay. As my teenage daughter likes to say, ‘that’s messed up,’” said Governor Bullock. “I want to be doing everything I can to ensure our three kids, and all Montanans, know their work will be valued equally when they enter the workforce. I hope the Montana Legislature will keep fighting to move this bill to my desk for signature.”
“I’m proud of my colleagues for making history and taking this first step to ensuring Montanans are paid fairly for their work,” said Rep. Laurie Bishop of Livingston. “Data shows us that women are more likely to be compensated less in wages than their male counterparts. This legislation would empower women during their wage negotiations with new employers, and I’m going to fight non-stop to get it across the finish line.”
House Bill 547 would address gender wage inequity by allowing greater wage transparency. As amended, the act creating paycheck transparency protections would protect Montana workers by preventing Montana employers from seeking or discussing information regarding past wages, benefits, or other salary history as a condition of employment or application for employment.
Montana ranks 29th among states for gender pay equity. Women in Montana earn just 73 percent of the median earnings of their male counterparts.