By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
Employers would be prohibited from paying different amounts to men and women doing the same jobs under a bill sponsored by State Rep. William Tracy Arnold, R-Booneville.
There are many struggling single mothers in the state, and they are the primary breadwinners for the home, Arnold said. He wants to be sure they are being paid a fair wage.
Under the bill, employees of an opposite sex who felt they were paid less for the same work could file a petition in circuit court. If successful, the employee would “awarded reasonable remedies provided by federal law.”
This bill brings the state law in line with the federal law, said Arnold, adding that he thinks most employers in Northeast Mississippi pay men and women equally.
Clearing up differences between the state and federal employment laws will eliminate loopholes, he said. Moreover, making the state law mimic the federal law can prevent attorneys from trying to profit off differences in the regulations, Arnold said.
He also thinks the bill further clarifies where Mississippi stands on the equal pay for equal work issue. Many women lead companies and industries, and he wants them to know they are appreciated. This type of legislation could potentially bring more industry to the state, he added.
Under the bill, different levels of pay would be allowed in certain cases such as a seniority system and a merit-based pay system.
State Rep. Bubba Carpenter, R-Burnsville, is a co-sponsor of the bill.