North Carolina and Massachusetts blaze trail on US pay North Carolina and Massachusetts blaze trail on US pay

North Carolina and Massachusetts blaze trail on US pay
20 Jun 2018

North Carolina has become the first state to adopt a US$15 minimum wage for most of its state employees, The Courier-Tribune in Asheboro reported.

The change was included in the state’s budget, and means that about 9,000 state workers will get a pay rise. The new minimum salary for full-time staffers works out at about US$31,200 a year, reported The Hill.

It applies to most jobs in state agencies and in the University of North Carolina system, but not to temporary workers or public school or community college employees. Public school bus drivers, custodians and teaching assistants are largely excluded, although teaching assistants will still receive an annual raise of about US$400, according to the N.C. Association of Educators.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts has also set a first, with an Equal Pay Act due to go into effect on July 1 that mandates equal pay for equivalent jobs, rather than simply identical ones.

"You have to pay men and women equal pay for comparable jobs that have comparable skills in the same or comparable locations," Michelle Roccia, a senior vice president at Winter Wyman told Boston 25 News.

Massachusetts was the first state to pass any law to close the wage gap, but this is the first update since 1945.

The Equal Pay Act will also significantly increase the fines a company can face if it is found to discriminate based on gender.  It will also have to reimburse any legal fees the employee paid up front.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

North Carolina has become the first state to adopt a US$15 minimum wage for most of its state employees, The Courier-Tribune in Asheboro reported.

The change was included in the state’s budget, and means that about 9,000 state workers will get a pay rise. The new minimum salary for full-time staffers works out at about US$31,200 a year, reported The Hill.

It applies to most jobs in state agencies and in the University of North Carolina system, but not to temporary workers or public school or community college employees. Public school bus drivers, custodians and teaching assistants are largely excluded, although teaching assistants will still receive an annual raise of about US$400, according to the N.C. Association of Educators.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts has also set a first, with an Equal Pay Act due to go into effect on July 1 that mandates equal pay for equivalent jobs, rather than simply identical ones.

"You have to pay men and women equal pay for comparable jobs that have comparable skills in the same or comparable locations," Michelle Roccia, a senior vice president at Winter Wyman told Boston 25 News.

Massachusetts was the first state to pass any law to close the wage gap, but this is the first update since 1945.

The Equal Pay Act will also significantly increase the fines a company can face if it is found to discriminate based on gender.  It will also have to reimburse any legal fees the employee paid up front.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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