Equal Pay Legislation in Missouri Moves One Step Closer to Enactment

Bill Passed Unanimously Out of House Select Committee 

Jefferson City, MO – On Wednesday night, the House Select Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations passed equal pay legislation (HB 44, filed by Rep. Stephen Webber of Columbia) unanimously and with bipartisan support.  This marks another procedural step towards the bill’s passage.  

HB 44 had previously been passed out of another House committee and a similar bill, SB 144, sponsored by Sen. Paul LeVota (Independence), also passed out of the Senate Small Business Committee with bipartisan backing last month.

Both HB 44 and SB 144 would establish best practice guidelines for businesses to utilize when addressing the gender pay gap. The momentum of these bills represents great progress for the Women’s Foundation public policy agenda in addressing the fact that women in Missouri make only 71 cents to the dollar men make.

 “It’s very encouraging to see bipartisan support for closing the gender pay gap,” said Wendy Doyle, President & CEO of the Women’s Foundation. “Removing economic barriers for women is the right thing to do for our families and our economy.”

 “It’s time to ensure equal pay for equal work,” said Rep. Stephen Webber.  “I’m hopeful we can pass this legislation and get it on the Governor’s desk for signature this year.”

 A research study conducted by the Women’s Foundation in partnership with the University of Missouri in 2014 showed women in Missouri make 29% less than men for the same work.  As part of its work to advance solutions to close this pay gap, the Women’s Foundation has been raising awareness of the problem and cultivating support for policy solutions including HB 44 and SB 144.

 Legislative session ends Friday, May 15.