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Oregon Equal Pay Bill Likely To Become Law Next Week

<p>Oregon's equal pay for women bill is headed to the governor's desk.</p>

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Oregon's equal pay for women bill is headed to the governor's desk.

Oregon lawmakers have signed off on a measure to ensure women will be paid the same as men.

The Oregon House approved the bill Monday.

It would ban some practices that can lead to unequal pay, such as using salary history to screen job applicants. The bill would also give more legal remedies to workers who feel they're being paid unfairly.

Rep. Jodi Hack, R-Salem, said the bill was long past due.

"I, as well as many other people, have experienced pay inequity," she said. "But it's not just about the pay. It's about recognizing people for their hard work and for their efforts, and for what they bring to the table."

Hack added the bill would give employers "the opportunity to step forward and to do what is right."

The Oregon Senate approved the measure last week. The vote was unanimous in both chambers.

A spokesman for Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said the governor is expected to sign the bill into law next week.

In a written statement, Brown said, "While workforce discrimination has long been illegal, pay inequity persists. House Bill 2005 makes great strides towards a more equitable and prosperous Oregon.”

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage. Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.