State senate passes equal pay for equal work legislation, bill moves ahead

Published 9:48 am Thursday, February 10, 2022

The Mississippi Senate passed Senate Bill 2451 which requires most Mississippi employers to pay women and men the same wage for the same work on Wednesday. This bill will not affect jobs based on seniority, merit or pay scales.

Only two senators, District 16 Democratic Senator Angela Turner Ford and District 21 Democratic Senator Barbara Blackmon opposed the legislation.

The bill will be reviewed in the House later this morning. If passed, Mississippi would join the other 49 states to have an equal pay legislation.

Last month, the house passed their own equal pay for equal work bill with the same provisions.

The bill allows workers to file a suit if they claim to have been discriminated against. The employee would have to show evidence that their employer discriminated against them based on their sex.

Republican Senator Nicole Boyd of Oxford reportedly spoke with law students at the University of Mississippi about why the state is seeing an exodus of workers. Boyd told news source Daily Journal that equal pay was a key motivator in why people moved out of Mississippi and sought jobs elsewhere.

“Let’s send a signal to these young women who are leaving our state that this state protects them, and make sure that they are going to get fair treatment under this law,” Boyd told the Journal.