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New wage equity law to benefit employees kicks in Friday

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 5:49 PM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - Changes are coming for those who are looking for work.

“I think this is fair, equitable policy that will really make a difference for some employees who have been willing to accept jobs that paid less than what they were qualified for,” said Nevada State Senator, Julia Ratti, who represents District 13.

On Friday SB293 becomes law which will create wage transparency and equity for those who need jobs. Employers can’t ask about salary history, and now the wage or salary range for a position must be disclosed.

In the past when an applicant was up-front about how much money they’ve made at previous jobs the employer did not have to show them how much they could make.

Ratti had some input on the bill.

“An employer looks at that wage and says ‘I know if I just offer a little bit more then I’m likely to hire that employee.’ That just gets perpetuated job after job after job.”

Employees and employers will now go into their discussions regarding salary on a level playing field. How much someone will make falls objectively on qualifications and not how much they previously made. Ratti says SB293 will mostly benefit women.

“It’s really one of the concrete things we can do to close the wage gap between men and women that still seems to persist regardless of other things that we do,” she said.

The bill did not get passed through the legislature because of the demand for workers stemming from the pandemic.

“This concept is one that’s been talked about for years and has been implemented in other states for years,” said Ratti. “It was a priority for the legislature in the session and that’s why it got through in this time.”

Employers can face fines up to $5,000 if they violate the law’s terms.

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