AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Two Maine Democrats say their bill would help to eliminate the gender pay gap. The National Partnership for Women and Families found that Maine women earn roughly $10,000 less annually than men.
Over the last four years Maine's Human Rights Commission has received roughly 93 complains of alleged wage discrimination , based on gender.
One of the bills sponsors, Sen. Cathy Breen, says the reason the gap has grown in recent years is because businesses are able to ask future hires for their salary history. She says, for women, it's often lower than their male counterparts, which means employers can get away with offering the woman a lower salary.
By restricting the information, she feels it would level the playing field.
The state Department of Labor and retails, innkeepers and restaurant groups oppose the bill, and the the State Chamber of Commerce says it could encourage litigation and lower offers.
There is a workshop session on the bill this afternoon in Augusta.