Knowledge is power. This toolkit is designed to help New Yorkers understand their rights under the State’s new salary history ban and its updated equal pay law. It explains what these laws do and provides answers to some frequently-asked questions about how these laws work. Understanding these laws can help you figure out whether you’re being underpaid and take action if you are.
Written by A Better Balance’s team of women’s rights and civil rights lawyers, The Working Woman’s Pocket Guide offers a step-by-step guide to the employment rights and protections New York women have at work and when they may need time away from work. With sections on pay equity, harassment, discrimination, paid family leave, healthcare coverage, and more, the guide is an A-Z resource for working women.
On August 26th, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day—a day commemorating the passage of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote in 1920. This victory, it’s important to note, was not realized for all women until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, when people of color were explicitly given the right to vote (a right that is still elusive for many today).
August 22 is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day—marking the day Black women had to work into 2019 in order to match what white, non-Hispanic men made in 2018 alone. The gender wage gap is a widespread issue, but it’s crucial to recognize that Black women’s pay gap is caused by sexism and racism—a multi-layered burden that white women do not face.
We were proud to lead the hard-won fight to pass these laws, and ensure New York sets a national standard for fair and equal pay. We’re also proud of the U.S. women’s soccer players for standing up for the equal pay they deserve, and for shining a spotlight on the broad issue of pay disparity across the U.S., which impacts groups including low wage workers, single mothers, and women of color particularly harshly.
Today marked a giant step forward for gender equality, as the New York legislature passed several crucial equal pay measures. Championed by Governor Cuomo as part of his Women’s Justice Agenda, the new laws—including one prohibiting employers from asking job applicants for their salary history—will help ensure women are treated equally and fairly in the workplace.
June 10th is Moms’ Equal Pay Day—which means it’s time to remember that mothers still are systemically penalized throughout their careers for their choice to have children. On average, mothers earn 5–6 percent less than non-mothers—a number that climbs with each additional child they have.
Our Co-Founder and Co-President Dina Bakst, who joined the Governor at the dais, spoke about the need to modernize New York’s pay equity laws by passing the salary history ban and extending wage discrimination protections to all protected classes.
The average woman earns just 80 cents for every dollar a man makes, and the wage gap is even worse for women of color. For every dollar paid to a white man, African American women earn just 61 cents, Native American women earn just 58 cents, and Latina women earn just 53 cents.