RI lawmakers revive equal pay bill

By The Associated Press

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island lawmakers have revived an “equal pay” bill to reduce the gender pay gap.

The bill announced Wednesday would expand existing anti-discrimination laws, make it easier for workers to sue over unequal pay and ban employers from asking a potential hire about their salary history.

The bill would also make it illegal for employers to pay women less than men for “comparable work.”

Last year’s attempt to pass an equal pay bill failed to pass after facing criticism that it was ineffective or a step backward.

Both businesses and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce also argued that “comparable work” was too vague.

Lawmakers also introduced a bill to raise the state minimum wage to $15 Wednesday.

Senate President Dominick Ruggerio says he will support the measure.

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