BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana  Senate has backed an equal pay bill that is one of the main pieces of Gov. John Bel Edwards' legislative agenda.

New Orleans Sen. J.P. Morrell's proposal would require large private businesses to pay the same wages to men and women who perform the same work.

It lays out a process for filing a complaint — and later possibly a lawsuit — by employees who believe they're entitled to more compensation.

The majority-Republican Senate voted 28-10 for the bill, sending it to the House.

But the proposal sought by the Democratic governor is expected to face difficulty winning House passage, amid opposition from business groups who say it would encourage unnecessary litigation.

Morrell says women in Louisiana  earn 65 cents on average for every dollar a man earns.


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