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Columbus City Council set to discuss pay equity proposal during public hearing

The legislation would help narrow the pay gap for women of color, according to councilmembers. The proposal will be formally introduced in March.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As Women’s History Month gets closer, Columbus City Council is making moves to level the “paying field” across the city.

Council members will hear public testimony at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Columbus City Hall for new legislation being introduced surrounding pay equity and credit history. Council members say this would narrow the pay gap for everyone, especially women of color.

📣PUBLIC HEARING📣 : Join us on Tuesday, February 21st at 5:30 PM in Council Chambers for a public hearing on proposed...

Posted by Columbus City Council on Friday, February 17, 2023

The legislation is broken up into two parts. The first portion of the proposed legislation includes banning Columbus employers from asking job candidates for previous salary history. This includes asking for it on job applications and contacting previous employers.

“This is really putting a stake in the ground to say that we believe in pay equity for all people. And we can see in places like California where they actually put this ban into effect, 4% of all people made more money and 6% of people of color made more money," said Columbus City Councilmember Lourdes Barroso de Padilla.

The second piece of the legislation deals with credit history, and how relevant that information is for employers to ask when it comes to getting certain jobs. 

Barroso de Padilla said cities and even states that have this type of policy already have seen people make more money across the board.

“So you can see since the '70s, the pay gap for women has only increased by one quarter, that's the entirety of my lifetime. So when we talk about pay equity, this is just one strategy of not closing but narrowing the pay gap for not just women but all people,” she said.

The legislation will be formally introduced in March, in line with Women’s History Month.

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