Alabama legislators on both sides of the aisle are coming together to support a bill to ensure equal pay for each employee, no matter their gender.
Rep. Adline Clarke, D-Mobile, announced the Equal Pay Bill yesterday on Equal Pay Day, a day that represents how much women have to work into the next year in order to equal the amount their men counterparts made in the single previous year – a little over three months more.
“This is an issue of fairness that is absolutely crucial to Alabama families,” Clarke said. “Women workers make up a large part of our workforce and their paychecks go to gas, groceries, childcare, college tuition and other essentials for our families. They must receive equal pay for equal work.”
House Bill 225, or the Equal Pay Bill, is similar to others put into place in every state but Mississippi and Alabama to prohibit gender-based prejudice in pay.
“Given the importance of this issue to families across the state and broad support, I’m hopeful it will soon be placed on the committee agenda and receive a favorable report from the committee,” Clarke said.
According to a 2016 study by the American Association of University Women, women were paid 20 percent less than men. The AAUW has warned that the gender wage gap has lifelong financial repercussions and encouraged the country to stop the discrepancies in order to lower the poverty rate nationally.
The bill would also allow workers to discuss their wages openly and require employers to keep three years of payroll records at a time. The Commerce and Small Business Committee has been assigned the bill.
HB225 is co-sponsored by Representatives Alexander, Baker, Boyd, Bracy, Coleman, Collins, Drummond, Faust, Fincher, Forte, Gaston, Givan, Gray, Hall, Hatcher, Hollis, Lawrence, McCampbell, Moore, Morris, Nordgren, Rafferty, Rogers, Rowe, Scott, Shaver, Shiver, Stringer, Warren, Wilcox and Wood.