Governor Youngkin’s Veto of a Pay Transparency Bill Is a Blow to Women in Virginia

(Washington, D.C.)  Today, Governor Youngkin vetoed a pay transparency bill that would have required employers to list salary ranges on job postings and banned employers from asking job applicants about their salary history.

The following is a statement by Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center:

“Actions speak louder than words. Today’s veto makes it clear: Governor Youngkin is saying “no” to equal pay for women. His shortsighted veto is a tremendous blow to women in Virginia—and a blatant attack on equal pay. Women, especially women of color, are still routinely paid less than white men, and these disparities build up over a lifetime. Over a 40-year career, a Black woman in Virginia stands to lose more than $1.2 million to the wage gap. Relying on a job applicant’s prior salary to set pay forces women to carry pay discrimination from job to job and is a key driver of gender and racial wage gaps within a workplace. Seventeen states and D.C., along with the federal government and a growing number of businesses—large and small—have put an end to relying on salary history because it hurts not only workers but the business bottom line and drives candidates away. Business and HR voices within Virginia and across the country are also heralding the practice of including pay ranges in job postings—the other requirement in this bill—because it helps businesses attract and retain talent and save time and costs in hiring. Job applicants are demanding this transparency—and many won’t even apply to job postings without salary ranges—because they know pay disparities thrive in secrecy.

Governor Youngkin rejected a rare opportunity today to deliver a win-win to Virginia workers and employers.”