Massachusetts State Representative - 34th Middlesex District

Women's Bar Association honors, hears Medford legislators

Medford Transcript

The Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) shared its 2012 Legislative Agenda with legislators at the Massachusetts State House at the organization's Legislative Breakfast.

This annual event marks the official kickoff of the WBA's legislative efforts for the year. Women's Bar Association leaders and members have the opportunity to share the group's priorities with Massachusetts legislators as well as to meet and congratulate newly-elected state legislators.

The WBA recognized the following Medford legislators who were instrumental in advancing the respective legislation:

· Transgender Civil Rights (Chapter 199 of the Acts of 2011): Rep. Carl Sciortino

After recognizing the WBA's legislative accomplishments, the WBA was honored to have a legislator and two attorneys discuss their support for some of the remaining WBA priorities for the 2011-2012 legislative session, including the following by Medford legislators:

· Comparable Worth: Rep. Alice Wolf spoke about her bill, H 1415, and Sen. Patricia Jehlen's bill, S 931, An Act Further Defining Comparable Work. This bill is important as it eliminates the wage gap between men and women by ensuring that work requiring comparable skill, effort and responsibility -- beyond the scope of specific male- or female-dominated professions -- is compensated equally.

· Paid Sick Days: Elizabeth Toulan, Coordinator at the Massachusetts Paid Leave Coalition and Senior Attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services, spoke about the bills, H 1398 and S 930, An Act Establishing Paid Sick Days, sponsored by Rep. Kay Khan and Sen. Patricia Jehlen, respectively, which would give employees a minimum of 7 paid sick days per year.

These bills are important because paid sick leave protects public health by minimizing the spread of illness; saves employers money by reducing spread among workers, reducing diminished productivity and turnover; and levels the playing field for employers who already offer paid sick days. The WBA recognizes that the needs of both businesses and workers will have to be balanced in any bill that progresses.

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