Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is working to eliminate gender-based wage gaps.
When Congress reconvenes next Tuesday at the end of its current recess, Rep. Holmes Norton says moving forward with legislation to eliminate employers’ requests of salary history is at the top of her agenda.
Together with Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Jerrold Nadler, Holmes Norton will introduce a bill that would prohibit employers from requesting the salary history of a potential employee prior to making an offer.
In addition to addressing the wage gap that currently sees women earning only 79 cents for every dollar a man makes, the proposed bill should also significantly decrease the wage gap between people of color and their white counterparts.
Rep. Holmes Norton has a well-documented history of working against income inequality and described the practice of requesting salary history as deceivingly discriminatory.
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“If disparity can begin from the moment you go to your first job, and it follows you throughout your career, it will never be rectified,” Norton told Think Progress. “The wage gap itself will never be rectified. It is a hidden form of discrimination that many employers may think is reasonable to ask and may not understand the discriminatory effect.”
Overall, Norton hopes to bring significant changes to a system that was designed for women and people of color to fail. “People of color and women never break the chain of discrimination, because it’s built in,” she said.