Assemblymember Bronson Votes to End Wage Discrimination

Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Riga/Rush/Wheatland) announced the Assembly passed a legislative package that would work to end wage discrimination statewide. The legislation is accompanied by a resolution proclaiming April 17, 2012, as Equal Pay Day in New York State (K.1141).

“The pay discrepancy that still exists between men and women is appalling,” Assemblymember Bronson said. “It is simply unacceptable that in this day and age, there is anything but equal pay for equal work.”

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).

“Pay equity is about fairness for all working people,” Assemblymember Bronson said. “It’s time New York raised the standard of living for those who have not been fairly compensated and put an end to work-related discrimination for good.”

New York women lose out on $24 billion each year as a result of the wage gap. If a working woman in New York was making as much as her male counterpart, she could afford roughly 15 more months of food, four additional months of mortgage payments and utility bills, nearly two and a half years worth of health insurance premiums for her family, or over 2,200 gallons of gas.i

“Our state has historically set the standard for fairness in this nation,” Assemblymember Bronson said. “We must advance this package and restore New York’s position as a leader in progressive, equality-based policies.”