Rep. Angela Cockerham, an alumna of Jackson State University, is the author of the recently passed equal pay protections bill. Cockerham, who is also chairwoman of House Judiciary A, authored the bill to provide employees protection from gender-based pay inequities. The Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (HB 770) was approved by the Mississippi House and Senate. Mississippi was the last state in America without equal pay protections.
“This is an important day in Mississippi history,” said Cockerham, an Independent in the Mississippi State House of Representatives. “We now have an equal pay statute here in our state. With the enactment of this bill, we can address gender pay disparities via a state cause of action.”
“Particularly for Mississippi, it’s especially important that equal pay is moving forward as the number of women in the workforce increases, all while taking care of their families and their own personal needs,” added Cockerham. “It’s been a long time coming, and we’re happy to provide another remedy for our constituents.”
The approval comes as Women’s History Month – observed nationally every March – concludes. March also marked Equal Pay Day, which has helped draw attention to gender-based pay disparities to highlight how far into a year a woman must work to earn what their male counterparts earned the previous year.