Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statements on votes by the full Senate regarding equal pay in Louisiana:

“As a state, we should be offended that our wage gap is the largest in the entire country.  A vote against equal pay is a vote against fairness, progress and against the hardworking women of our state who deserve to be compensated the same as their male counterparts for the same job,” said Gov. Edwards. “The outcome of today’s votes is disappointing to say the very least, but it strengthens my resolve to keep working to make equal pay a reality for my daughters and all the women of Louisiana. If the current laws on the books were enough we would not be last in the country, but that is not the case and many women are underpaid for doing the same work as men.  This negatively impacts households, families, communities and our state.  With more than 90 percent of the people of Louisiana supporting equal pay, this should have been one of the easiest votes the Senate has taken, but unfortunately, they have chosen to continue this disparity.”

Pay secrecy would be eliminated under SB 149 by Sen. J.P. Morrell (D-New Orleans) by prohibiting employers from taking actions against employees for inquiring about, discussing or disclosing their wages or another employee’s wages.  Under SB 117, the Equal Pay for Women Act would expand to cover any business or person who enters into a procurement or services contract with any department, office, division, agency, commission, board, committee, or other organizational unit of the state.