Gov. Brown signs pay equity legislation

House Bill 2005 strengthens existing protections

Governor Kate Brown signs pay equity legislation, June 1 2017. (KOIN)

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Governor Kate Brown signed pay equity legislation into law on Thursday.

House Bill 2005 strengthens existing protections, creates new provisions to ensure an individual’s past salary does not hold them back when applying for a new job, and encourages all employers to conduct a pay equity study.

“Pay inequity can keep women in relationships they don’t want to be in and can keep women of color working two or three jobs,” Brown said. “I applaud the Legislature’s bipartisan efforts to pass the Pay Equity Bill and make great strides toward a more equitable and prosperous Oregon.”

Brown used about a dozen different pens to sign the bill, knowing women around her would want to have a keepsake from a historic day.

Trish Garner with the American Association of University Women of Oregon was one of the many women who helped push to get the bill passed. At the bill signing, she handed out copies of the cover page of a 120 year old study, where even then women wondered why they weren’t being paid the same as men.

“It’s very moving to feel the presence of these women and so many others who were looking for pay equity,” Garner said.

According to the National Women’s Law Center, women still make 80 cents for every dollar a man makes.