Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a bipartisan legislation into law requiring employers to provide a compensation figure to applicants upfront as opposed to asking for salary requirements from the applicant.

The effort's supporters are hoping the model will close the gender wage gap by barring employers from deciding a salary based on an applicant's previous earnings. The law, which will go into effect in 2018, will also ban companies from prohibiting employees from discussing salary information and will widen the definition of equal work for those who work in 'comparable operations.'

“This is a sea change, and we hope it will be used as a model in other states,” said Victoria A. Budson, executive director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and chairwoman of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. The law in her state, she said, “will help every single individual who applies for a job, not just women.”

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