Signed Conference Report for Mississippi Equal Pay Legislation | Mississippi Politics and Current Affairs
Mississippi remains the only state in the nation without equal pay protections.
Prior to the 2022 legislative session, the idea of equal pay legislation gained traction because Mississippi is currently the only state in the nation without state-level equal pay protections for the women. Two bills were introduced and a conference was invited on House Bill 770 and Senate Bill 2451.
Lawmakers filed the conference report for House Bill 770 on Monday.
Representatives Angela Cockerham (I), Jason White (R) and Mark Tullos (R) were the House delegates for the Mississippi Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. Speakers from the Senate included State Senators Brice Wiggins (R), Nicole Boyd (R) and David Parker (R).
The conference report states that:
“No employer may pay an employee a salary at a rate less than the rate at which an employee of the opposite sex in the same establishment is paid for equal work on work, the performance of which requires equal skill, education, effort and responsibility, and which is performed under conditions of similar work, except where payment is made in accordance with a differential based on:
(a) A seniority system;
(b) A merit system;
(vs) A system that measures income based on the quantity or quality of output; Where
(D) Any other factor other than sex.
If passed, it will go into effect and be enforced from July 1, 2022. Lawmakers are expected to consider the conference report later this week.
A group of bipartisan state lawmakers have been pushing for an equal pay law to be passed for the past two years.
In September, the Mississippi Senate Labor Committee held a meeting and heard from a panel of speakers on the importance of equal pay legislation. Hosted by the Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR), lawmakers heard from national activist Lilly Ledbetter, the National Women’s Law Center, United Way and other equal rights advocates.
“It affects women from all walks of life. I have met doctors in New York who were only paid a third of their male counterparts. I have spoken with lawyers who cannot become partners, but this is truly a sad case for our low-wage working women,” Lily Ledbetter said. “You can control equal pay in your state better than the federal government.”
In August 2020, the president of the Mississippi Democratic Presidents Association released a statement on behalf of the state’s Democratic county executive committee chairmen discussing the urgent need for equal pay legislation in the state. State.
“We call on all of our state’s leaders to commit to urging public and private sector employers to begin the process of immediately correcting these historic inequalities. Although we are still the last state to ratify such a law, it is needed more than ever,” said Jacqueline Amos, president of the Mississippi Association of Democratic Chairs.
In January 2022, following the initial passage of HB 770 through the House, State Representative Angela Cockerham says Y’all Politics that she was grateful for the support and delighted that the bill had passed.
“This is going to be so transformative for the state of Mississippi,” Cockerham said.
Attorney General Lynn Fitch is also a longtime advocate for equal pay legislation in Mississippi.
“Mississippi is the only state in the nation without an equal pay law. The premise of equal pay for equal work is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. It is a fundamental issue of fairness human,” AG Fitch told Y’all Politics in September. “It’s a public statement that women matter. The Mississippi House passed equal pay legislation with an overwhelming, bipartisan vote, as did the Senate. But we still haven’t been able to get it into law, and I will continue to talk about this issue until we reach the rest of the country and until we show the women of Mississippi that we recognize that equal work is worth equal pay. It’s time to make up for it, Mississippi.
You can read the House Bill 770 conference report below.
Equal Pay Conference Report by yallpolitics on Scribd