This year’s Latina Equal Pay Day falls on October 5, representing that Latina women earn only 52 cents for every dollar earned by a white male. In order to advance equal pay for Latinas, we need to eliminate the structural issues that contribute to the gender and racial wage gaps, including ending discrimination against Latina women and Latina immigrants and breaking down key workplace barriers for Latina women such as pregnancy discrimination, caregiver discrimination, workplace harassment, abusive scheduling practices, and lack of access to paid family and medical leave and affordable child care.
At A Better Balance, we know that pregnancy discrimination leads to many women, disproportionately Latinas in low-wage jobs, being forced out of the workforce, which can spiral into lasting economic insecurity for their families. But thanks to the passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which went into effect this summer, we have taken one important stride toward addressing the root causes of the gender and racial wage gaps in the US. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act will ensure Latina workers and all pregnant and postpartum workers can stay healthy and attached to the workforce, earning their paycheck and maintaining their financial stability when they need it most. More information about the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is available in English and in Spanish.
Data shows that the wage gap will cost Latinas over $1.2 million over their career. This is unacceptable. In order to close the wage gap for Latina workers, we need to pass policies that dismantle systemic racism and sexism at the root and allow women of color to remain safe, healthy, fairly compensated, and attached to the workforce, including paid sick time and paid family and medical leave. We must also commit to ensuring Latina workers can exercise their rights under existing protections. As part of our efforts to support workers in exercising their workplace rights, our legal team offers direct assistance in both English and Spanish via our free and confidential legal helpline.
We won’t stop fighting until all Latinas can stay healthy and attached to the workforce and are paid equally and fairly for the important work they do across all sectors of our economy.