From New York Women’s Equality at: http://nywomensequality.org/10-point-plan/
1. Strengthening laws that require Equal Pay for Equal Work (Senate Bill 5872)
- Women in New York earn 84% of what men earn and jobs traditionally held by women pay significantly less than jobs predominantly employing men.
- The wage gap is more severe for African-American and Hispanic women, who earn 79%
- 61% of private sector employees in the United States report that they are discouraged or prohibited from discussing wage and salary information. If a woman does not know how much her male colleagues earn, it is extremely difficult to determine whether she is a victim of pay discrimination.
The Women’s Equality Act would:
- 1. Close a loophole in New York’s equal pay law that allows employers to justify paying female employees less
2. Outlaw workplace wage secrecy policies
3. Increase damages available to a prevailing litigant to 300% of unpaid wages
In other words, this is the very heart and soul of the bill. Fundamentally, women should be paid the same as their male counterparts. Almost no-one disputes this fact, at least publically – but in the world of a paycheck reality has not caught up to rhetoric. Women are still paid 77 cents on the dollar for the same work across the US, and if you are a women of color it is dramatically less.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was in town during January to talk about the role of women in our economy and she cited many statistics that give a view of the impact that equal pay would have on our economy. $4 Billion a year type of impact. This is not chump change.
Lilly Ledbetter was here last year at Daemen to talk about her fight to gain equal pay, and it became clear throughout her speech that the hurdles are still very high. Equal pay is the lynchpin to the entire subject of equality for women and we need to pass it immediately!