If you thought “equal pay for equal work” was already the law, you’re right. It is already the law. This bill is different. It reflects an ongoing effort to require employers to pay equal pay for work that is “equivalent.” We opposed the bill because the term “equivalent” is subjective, employers would be liable in court if they get it wrong, and the current statutes already protect men and women performing the same work.
According to proponents of “equal pay for equivalent work,” the comparisons that have already been made prove our point. School head secretaries and audiovisual technicians, registered nursing assistants and plumbers, cashiers and stock clerks, secretaries and lab technicians, finance clerks and maintenance workers, etc. As you can see, there is no rhyme or reason to the comparisons. But under the bill, an employer would be liable for damages if there is a difference in pay and an employee could prove their job requires equivalent effort to someone that is paid more.
The Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee, chaired by Sen. Mike Parson, heard the bill.