Equal Pay Legislation Passes Assembly

Assembly package helps eliminate wage discrimination between men and women
January 30, 2006

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WFP-Tompkins/Cortland) today announced passage of legislation she sponsored to help end wage discrimination in New York.

The measures passed amidst a report by the National Committee on Pay Equity that found median earnings of women working full-time were 77 percent of men’s median earnings last year – and the statistics are even more alarming for women of color, whose earnings are as low as 57 percent of men’s. The U.S. Department of Education also found that full-time female teaching faculty earns nearly 9 percent less than their male counterparts. Lifton, chair of the Assembly Task Force on Women’s Issues, said the statistics indicate a need for change.

“Even though the Equal Pay Act was passed over 40 years ago, women generally continue to lag behind in pay,” Lifton said. “This enormous gap in salaries between men and women is both disheartening and appalling. Fair policies can be implemented without unnecessary costs or hardship, and it is essential, since fair pay strengthens families and helps the economy. We must put an end to wage discrimination.”

To remedy discriminatory salary practices, Lifton authored a resolution (K.1321) urging Congress to provide pay equity for all people who perform work of comparable skill, effort and responsibility.

To help achieve pay equity for all New Yorkers, Lifton also sponsored a package of legislation:

  • Making discriminatory salary practices unlawful – especially in traditionally female dominated occupations (A.2825);
  • Enacting the New York State Fair Pay Act – ensuring pay differentiation is not based on a person’s sex or national origin (A.3637);
  • Making it unlawful for public employers to compensate employees of the opposite sex differently for work that is of comparable worth (A.9466); and
  • Implementing a state policy of equal compensation for work of comparable worth for state employees (A.305).

“Pay equity is, and always has been, about fairness for all,” Lifton said. “The Assembly has consistently fought to bring equal treatment when it comes to salaries. It’s time for the Senate and governor to join us in advancing this package to put an end to work-related discrimination. New York should be a leader in wage fairness.”