House Democrats Introduce South Carolina Paycheck Fairness Act

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -Lawmakers announced a new bill today they say addresses an issue that has been long overlooked in South Carolina.

House Democrats are joining Representative James Smith in his efforts to make sure women and minorities are paid for doing the same job as their colleagues, calling for more transparency when it comes to salary discussions.

“There ought to be a system that ensures fairness in paychecks regardless of gender,” said Representatives James Smith.

 “We are one of only four states that does not currently have pay equity law and that’s shameful. This is not a woman issue, this is an everybody issue,” said Lancaster Democrat Representative Mandy Powers Norrell.

The bill aims to level the playing field for women by making it mandatory for employers to include ranges of pay on job applications, hoping to help women better negotiate salaries.

The bill would also stop employers from offering lower wages based on someone’s work history.

“When you asks for somebody’s pay history and they have perpetually been making less than a man for doing the exact same job that a man does, you are perpetuating that same system, especially if you are going to base their future pay on their past pay,” said Norrell.
Though House Democrats are introducing the bill, they believe it should receive bipartisan support in both chambers.
“We hope we don’t have a problem with this bill because if we do, we are in more trouble than we even know,” said Richland Democrat Wendy Brawley.
“In the first subcommittee hearing, we will see what kind of opposition there may be but I think it is a very reasonable step and I think it is very important that we have pay fairness in our state,” Smith said.
The bill also addresses equal pay for minorities, siting that Black women are only paid 53 cents for every dollar their White male colleagues are paid while White women are paid around 74 cents for each of those dollars.