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New bill works towards equal pay in the workplace - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

New bill works towards equal pay in the workplace

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HONOLULU -

A bill at the State Capitol is gaining momentum in the movement to help women in the workplace earn just as much as their male counterparts.

According to the Hawaii Appleseed Center, women in Hawaii make 16% less than men.

"The problem is that women are paid less than men for doing the same work. Its ridiculous in this decade in a supposedly developed nation," said Susan Wurtzburg of AAU Hawaii.

The bill serves employers a one-two punch-prohibiting them from asking a job applicant about their previous wage history.  Senator Laura Thielen says in many cases, where people previously were underpaid, it is perpetuated in successive jobs. 

The bill would also prevent employers from keeping their employees from sharing wage information with each other.

"A lot of people say the gap is there because women choose to do different work than men but the statistics show there is a gap between every type of profession, doctors females are paid less than male doctors, nurses, construction, teachers, professors, every type of profession," said Senator Thielen.

While the bill aims to help women close the gap, Senator Laura Thielen says the measure could benefit men as well, helping increase earnings for all.

The senator went on to say, "As long as employers are paying people for the quality of work they are doing. Everybody understands there may be some differences for wages but not the kinds of gaps that are between men's and women's salaries that are across the spectrum of work that we have today."

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