Vermont House votes to expand equal pay protections for workers
The Vermont Legislature is poised to expand the number of workers who are protected by the state’s Equal Pay Act.
It’s been more than 50 years since Congress passed the federal Equal Pay Act, and Middletown Springs Rep. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman said this week that Vermont’s version of the law is due for an update.
“And as we progress, we add to our awareness of the injustices and inequities that are often an unseen part of modern life,” he said.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 only prohibits sex-based pay discrimination. Vermont lawmakers have, over time, have added protections based on sexual orientation, race, gender identity and age.
The Vermont House of Representatives voted unanimously Thursday to extend equal pay protections based on a workers’ religion, color, ancestry, place of birth, crime victim status and disability.
The Legislature made similar changes to Vermont’s Fair Employment Practice Act last year, and Chesnut-Tangerman said the two statutes should align.
“So that all categories that are protected from employment discrimination are now also protected from pay discrimination,” he said.
The Senate is expected to sign off on the legislation later in the session. A spokesperson for the Scott administration says the Republican governor supports the bill.
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