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Press Releases - County Council

Councilmember Evan Glass fights for equal pay in Montgomery County

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 5, 2019

ROCKVILLE, Md., Mar. 5, 2019 – Today, Councilmember Evan Glass (At-Large) introduced Bill 4-19, Personnel – Merit System – Requesting Salary History Prohibited, also known as the Montgomery County Pay Equity Act. The goal of this bill is to eliminate the County’s ability to request salary information or pay stubs from potential hires, which is a major reason for wage inequity between women, men and nonbinary employees. Councilmember Glass also unveiled alarming data revealing the gender pay gap among County government employees in the same grade. The Montgomery County Pay Equity Act has unanimous Council support and endorsements from Maryland’s top women’s rights organizations, as well as the County’s labor organizations. This is the first time the Montgomery County Council is taking up legislation specifically aimed at tackling the gender pay equity gap.

“Even in a progressive jurisdiction like Montgomery County, there is a stark pay gap between employees of different genders in the same grade levels, and I find that completely unacceptable,” said Councilmember Evan Glass. “Closing the gender pay gap is the right thing to do, and it’s a century overdue. As a boy, I saw my mom struggle to maintain multiple jobs in order to keep a roof over our heads. The gender pay gap has long-term implications that hurt women – especially women of color – and it hinders their upward economic mobility. It’s time to bring our policies and practices to the 21st century and to properly pay women for the work that they do. The Montgomery County Pay Equity Act is the first step in ensuring equal pay for equal work in Montgomery County. I’m proud to stand with women and their families. I think my mom would be proud.”

In Maryland women earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts; and for women of color the gap is starker. Black women earn 69 cents and Hispanic/Latina women earn just 47 cents relative to white men.

The Montgomery County Pay Equity Act also would require the County Executive to study the effect of laws in other jurisdictions prohibiting an employer from considering an applicant’s salary history on pay disparity based on gender and submit a report to the Council on this analysis on or before July 1, 2020; and provide the Council with a report on gender pay equity among County employees every two years beginning on or before July 1, 2022.

The Council staff report for the introduction of Bill 4-19 can be viewed here. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for March 26 at 1:30 p.m. You can sign up to testify at the public hearing here.


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Montgomery County Women and Unions Support Councilmember Evan Glass' Montgomery County Pay Equity Act


“On behalf of Montgomery County’s 10,000 employees, MCGEO is proud to endorse Councilmember Evan Glass’ Montgomery County Pay Equity Act. Our mission is to fight for all workers – regardless of gender – and this includes closing the gender pay gap. We stand behind Councilmember Glass’ efforts to close the gender pay gap for county employees and believe that his bill advances labor’s values to the county’s workforce. The county currently asks for salary history and requires previous pay stubs to justify mid-point salaries. This is hurting female employees, who are less likely to successfully negotiate for higher salaries. Councilmember Glass’ Montgomery County Pay Equity Act is the right thing to do, and we urge the Council to enact his legislation and lead the way on a progressive labor movement.” – Gino Renne, President, MCGEO


“Marylanders recognize that relying on job applicants’ salary history to set pay is an unfair and unnecessary practice that needs to stop now. We commend Councilmember Evan Glass for taking action and introducing this legislation to ensure that Montgomery County employees are paid based on the experience, skills, and the responsibilities they are assuming, not their salary history—a factor that perpetuates gender and racial wage gaps. This important legislation will help ensure that women and people of color are not condemned to depressed wages throughout their careers.” – Andrea Johnson, Senior Counsel for State Policy, National Women’s Law Center


“The women's wage gap is real, it is punitive, and it is harming women and families right here in Montgomery County every day. The effects are especially punishing for moms and for women of color. Prohibiting the county from requiring job applicants to disclose their prior salary history is a simple and high-impact way to help close the wage gap and boost working families. We are tremendously grateful to Councilmember Evan Glass for championing this bill, and to Council President Nancy Navarro, Council Vice President Sidney Katz, and councilmembers Andrew Friedson, Will Jawando, Craig Rice, Tom Hucker, Hans Riemer, and Gabe Albornoz for supporting it. We urge the Council to pass it right away.” – Ruth Martin, a Montgomery County resident and vice president for workplace justice campaigns at MomsRising, an online and on-the-ground organization of more than one million mothers and their families.


“The Commission for Women proudly supports this essential step by the County Council to provide a more level playing field for job applicants seeking employment with Montgomery County government.  Without such important measures in place, women are disparately impacted. Therefore, the Commission supports hiring practices that determine salary by using an applicant's skills, experience and responsibility, rather than using arbitrary factors like previous earnings.  This will improve the economic impact for women and all job applicants with the Montgomery County government.” – Nicole Drew, President, Montgomery County Commission for Women (CFW)


“The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County (LWVMC) has a long-standing history of supporting legislation that requires equal pay for equal work. We thank Councilmember Evan Glass for his fight for gender equity in Montgomery County and support his bill, The Montgomery County Pay Equity Act. We believe this legislation helps us take a significant step in closing the pay gap in Montgomery County. Discrimination in pay may take subtle forms and this bill is explicit in codifying language to help level the playing field for hiring workers by not requesting a salary history for merit-based employees. Montgomery County can lead the way by enacting this important legislation.” – Nancy Bliss, President, League of Women Voters of Montgomery County (LWVMC).


“Montgomery County NOW endorses the Montgomery County Pay Equity Act because we believe that women should be paid for what they’re worth, not on lower wages based on past compensation and that hires based on salary history perpetuate pay discrimination and the gender wage gap. The Montgomery County Council can begin to help women achieve equal pay for equal work by passing the Montgomery County Pay Equity Act. Wage disparities follow women from job to job when employers rely on salary history. Women are more frequently called on to take time off to deal with sick children or aged parents, which impacts their earnings, Social Security benefits, and retirement accounts. Lower earnings impact single women, married women, and families where the mother is in the workforce. Lower wages for women result in lower taxes paid and increased demand for state and county services.

Montgomery County NOW supports this bill, which aims to support pay equity for Montgomery County employees by prohibiting the county from requesting salary history from an applicant for County employment, prohibits the county from relying on salary history to determine an applicant’s starting history, and by requiring the Executive to study the effect of this type of law on the private sector in other jurisdictions and report the findings to the Council. For the above reasons, as well as others cited by the various supporting organizations and individuals, we urge the support of the Montgomery County Council for this bill.” – Jennierose D’Elia-Dufour, President, Montgomery County National Organization for Women (NOW)


“SEIU Local 500 wholeheartedly supports the Montgomery County Pay Equity Act sponsored by Councilmember Evan Glass. Despite progress in matters for gender equality, pay disparity remains a real issue for women in Maryland. Women workers earn approximately 79 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make with even starker pay disparity for women of color. By passing this legislation, Montgomery County would take historic action by ensuring men and women throughout the county be treated equally and fairly in the workplace in matters of salary and fair compensation for equal work.”  – Merle Cuttitta, President of SEIU Local 500


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Councilmember Evan Glass was elected to the Montgomery County Council in 2018 as an At-Large Member. He serves on  the Transportation and Environment (T&E) Committee and the Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee, where he is the Council’s lead on Homelessness and Vulnerable Communities. Councilmember Glass also serves as the Montgomery County Council’s representative on the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ (COG) National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board andthe National Association of Counties’ (NACo) Transportation Committee and its Large Urban County Caucus. Councilmember Glass is the first LGBTQ member of the Montgomery County Council.

Release ID: 19-080
Media Contact: Valeria Carranza 240-257-619