Equal pay bill stalls

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Legislation aimed at ensuring that women and men are compensated equally for doing the same work stalled Wednesday in the state Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The panel deadlocked in a 4-4 vote for Senate Bill 153 by state Sen. Ed Murray, D-New Orleans. Murray could try to revive the measure at another meeting.

SB153 would make it illegal for an employer with 15 workers or more to pay women less than the same rate paid to men for the same work, with exceptions for seniority and other performance-based systems. Business groups oppose the bill year after year, saying federal law adequately addresses the issue.