Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester) announced that he helped pass a pay equity legislative package in an effort to end wage discrimination and eliminate the gap in pay between men and women who perform comparable duties in their line of work.
“To put it simply, women who do equal work deserve equal pay,” Assemblyman Buchwald said. “New York has long been a champion of equality, and it is my hope that this year we finally put an end to unfair pay discrimination. Especially at a time when the economy is still recovering, our families deserve pay equity.”
“We are fortunate enough to live in the most affluent country in the world – yet in 2013 women still don’t receive equal pay for equal work,” said Lisa Pizzurro, Co-President of the League of Women Voters of Bedford, Lewisboro and North Salem. “For years, we’ve worked toward fully protecting women against the salary disparity prevalent between men and women. I want to thank Assemblyman Buchwald for supporting the legislation that could finally make equal pay a reality for women in New York.”
Women in New York make 84 cents for every dollar men earn, creating a substantial yearly pay gap of roughly $8,275 between men and women working full time in New York State.i Minority women tend to fare even worse nationally, with African-American and Latina women receiving 64 cents and 55 cents respectively for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.ii
Specifically, the Assembly legislation would make it easier to enforce equal pay regulations and create a state policy to determine and define “comparable work.” Additionally, the legislation would:
- enact the New York State Fair Pay Act to address and enforce pay equity, including broadening equal pay protections to include equivalent jobs, making it unlawful for an employer to discriminate between employees on the basis of gender, race or national origin, and ensuring that traditional female and minority jobs are not undervalued (A.5958);
- establish state policy that local political subdivisions ensure equal pay for work of comparable value regardless of sex, race or national origin (A.1729);
- implement a state policy that compensates employees in state service equally for work of comparable value by eliminating wage inequality for workers due to sex, race or national origin (A.753); and
- design and publish a report evaluating wage disparities of public employees related to job titles, segregated by the gender, race and/or national origin of employees (A.881).
Every year, full-time working women in New York are paid nearly $23 billion less their male counterparts. The inequity is compounded among the over 1 million households headed by women, Assemblyman Buchwald noted. Translated to household costs, the money lost by an average woman in New York would pay for 63 more weeks of groceries; four more months of mortgage and utilities payments; eight more months of rent; or 2,116 additional gallons of gas each year.iii