Accomplishments from the 190th Session (2017-2018)
Pay Equity—passed August 1, 2016
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
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act—passed July J, 2017
This bill would protect women from discrimination in the workplace due to pregnancy by prohibiting employers from choosing not to hire or from firing a worker from her job based on pregnancy. It would also require employers to provide reasonable accommodations (such as seating, break time, time for recovery) for workers who are pregnant without repercussions to the pregnant worker. It would prohibit an employer from requiring an employee to take paid or unpaid leave because of pregnancy.
Establishing three new regional Commissions on the Status of Women for Eastern Regional Commission, an Upper Middlesex Commission, and a Plymouth County Commission—passed March 15, 2017
Each new regional commission will be comprised of nine commissioners and will represent the variety of municipalities in their respective territories. The commissions will advocate for women and girls and will report to the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. The passage of this bill ensures every municipality in the Commonwealth is included in a regional commission on the status of women and girls.
Advancing Contraceptive Coverage and Economic Security in Our State (ACCESS)—passed November 20, 2017
This law protects and expands access to contraceptives by requiring insurers in Massachusetts to cover all FDA-approved contraceptive methods without cost-sharing, including coverage of over-the-counter contraceptives without a prescription. This law will safeguard the 1.4 million Massachusetts women who currently have access to no-copay birth control. This law also ensures that women can have access to a 12-month supply of birth control at one time after a three-month trial period.