Assemblymember Didi Barrett helps pass pay equity legislative package

Measures would bring fair pay to families statewide
April 23, 2012

Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-Washington) announced the Assembly passed a legislative package that would work to end wage discrimination throughout New York State. The legislation is accompanied by a resolution proclaiming April 17, 2012, as Equal Pay Day in New York State (K.1141).

“Women across New York State deserve their fair share in the workplace, it’s a plain and simple fact,” Assemblywoman Barrett said. “I have spent my career advocating for women and making sure they have a voice. Equal pay will continue to be one of my priorities in the Assembly. That is why I got to work immediately, helping pass this package of bills so we can put an end to unjust and irrational wage gaps.”

The Assembly legislation would make it easier to enforce equal pay regulations, while establishing a state policy of setting salaries based on comparable work. The legislation would:

  • enact the New York State Fair Pay Act to address and enforce pay equity, including broadening equivalent job definitions, determining equivalent skills, making it unlawful for an employer to discriminate between employees on the basis of gender, race or national origin and ensuring that traditional and minority jobs are not undervalued (A.6130-A);
  • establish a state policy of equal pay for similar work regardless of sex, race or national origin (A.6448-A);
  • implement a state policy that compensates employees in state service equally for work of comparable value by eliminating wage inequality in job titles segregated by sex, race or national origin and requiring civil services to establish methods to review and fix those titles (A.1780-A); 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 in the same position (A.9623).

With nearly 40 percent of American homes relying on the woman as the family breadwinner,1[1] families are missing out on resources that could be used to pay bills, put food on the table and help pay the cost of their children’s education.

“Mid-Hudson families, and families statewide, deserve more than the current inexcusable wage disparities,” Assemblywoman Barrett said. “We have a responsibility to all New Yorkers to fight for pay equity in the workplace. It is just one important step toward making sure middle-class interests are getting the attention they deserve.”