The state senate approved a measure Friday requiring employers to pay men and women equally for doing the same jobs.
The vote was split almost along party lines, with Republicans in near unanimous opposition. Steve Hershey, the minority whip, said he and his colleagues aren’t opposed to equal pay for equal work, but worried about the effects on small businesses.
“We’re trying to make it easier to do business here in Maryland and not put as many burdens on our businesses,” he said.
Bryan Simonaire, of Pasadena, was the only Republican to vote for the bill. He called it a simple bill, demanding equal pay for equal work, and he said he “couldn’t go home with my five daughters” if he voted against it.
But Nathaniel McFadden, a Baltimore Democrat, recalled being raised by a single mother who got paid less because she was a woman and she was black. He called it a no brainer.
“It’s good for business,” he said. “ Pay the woman, pay the man, pay that individual what they are due, equally. It’s not that hard”
A similar bill passed the House last week and is awaiting a Senate committee hearing.