The Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators was established in 1975 with a mission to enhance the economic status and equality of women and to encourage and support women in all levels of government.
The Women's Caucus is thrilled to announce that another legislative priority, An Act Advancing Contraception Coverage and Economic Security in our State (ACCESS), was signed into law by Governor Baker on November 20, 2017! Massachusetts is now the first state in the nation to protect and expand access to contraceptives by requiring insurers to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives without cost-sharing. This safeguards the 1.4 million women in Massachusetts who already have access to no-pay birth control.
The Women's Caucus is pleased to announce that one of our legislative priorities, An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, was signed into law by Governor Baker on Thursday, July 27, 2017! Massachusetts has taken a step in protecting the pregnant women in our workforce. The new law makes it illegal for employers to not hire a woman because she is pregnant and requires companies to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees at their request. A few examples would be access to a lactation room, more frequent or longer breaks, transfer to a less strenuous position and/or time off to recover after childbirth.
The Women's Caucus is pleased to announce that our legislative priority, An Act to Establish Pay Equity, was signed into law by Governor Baker on Monday, August 1, 2016! Massachusetts has just made history with the most comprehensive pay equity legislation in America. The bill aims to help close the gender wage gap by preventing employers from requiring salary history on job applications, allows employees to discuss wages without fear of termination or retaliation from their employer, further defines comparable work and creates an incentive for businesses to do an internal wage audit.
Based on the current legislative session, the Caucus has Senate and House co-chairs. Senator Jennifer Flanagan and Representative Colleen Garry will serve as co-chairs through the end of the 2017-2018 legislative session.
Currently, 25% of the Massachusetts legislature is comprised of women. There are 13 female state senators and 39 female state representatives, all of whom are members of the caucus.
It is the goal of the caucus to educate the Massachusetts legislature on issues that women face not only in Massachusetts, but across the United States. The caucus has chosen to focus on pay equity for the 2015-2016 legislative session.
The caucus aims to be a resource for all women in Massachusetts. We have compiled a comprehensive list of various organizations and resources from around the Commonwealth that can assist in matters ranging from health care to business.