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Ivey signs equal pay act into law

Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday held a signing ceremony for HB 225, entitled the “Clarke-Figures Equal Pay Act,” which was passed by the Alabama legislature near the end of the 2019 regular session.

The new law mandates that employees in Alabama cannot be paid less solely based on their sex or race than another employee of a different sex or race for performing the same job.

Objective reasons allowed under the law why pay could be different include when an employer uses a seniority system, a merit system or a “system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production.”

“This bill is important to ensure equal pay is given for equal work,” Ivey said in a statement to Yellowhammer News on Tuesday.

HB 225 was sponsored by State Rep. Adline Clarke (D-Mobile). A Senate Republican amendment attached to the legislation named the law after Clarke and State Sen. Vivian Davis-Figures (D-Mobile).

Clarke has previously said that she believes most businesses in the Yellowhammer State are paying employees equitably.

However, she emphasized that it is important to have a state law for when problems arise. Clarke called it “a great day in Alabama” when HB 225 was approved by the legislature.

Mississippi is now the only state without a pay equity law.

HB 225 passed both chambers of the legislature unanimously. The bill becoming law came as many national media and some state media figures, along with Democratic politicians, accused Alabama’s leaders of being “anti-women.”

Lilly Ledbetter and legislators from both parties were on hand Tuesday for the ceremonial signing.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn