The COVID-19 public health crisis underscores the need to ensure that women—who are the sole or co-breadwinner in most American households—are not facing additional hurdles to economic security. The wage gap contributes to higher rates of poverty for women and families, especially women of color and their families. If the wage gap were eliminated, the average woman could afford an additional 13 months of childcare, 10 months of rent, and over a year’s worth of food. At a time when many parents—especially single mothers—face precarious employment and the need to care for children and loved ones, it is crucial that we ensure women and families have access to needed resources and support.
Recent Labor Department data shows that women have now overtaken men as the majority of the labor force. Women have always worked and played a crucial role in our economy, but more than ever, it’s clear that our workplace laws are far behind. So this International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we’re calling for federal laws that will go a long way towards advancing gender equality.
With this decision, Philadelphia’s workers will no longer be subject to questions about their salary history— a practice that enables employers to discriminate against groups that historically earn less from the outset of their careers, including women, people of color, and especially those who are mothers. In 2019, we successfully led a campaign to pass a New York State passed its own salary history ban, joining dozens of other jurisdictions in making this important step towards closing the wage gap and advancing gender equality.
November 20 is Latina Equal Pay Day—marking the day Latina women had to work into 2019 in order to match what white, non-Hispanic men made in 2018. That means Latina women had to work nearly two years to make what white, hispanic men made in just one year. The gender wage gap has many root causes, but it’s important to recognize that the pay gap for Latinas is attributable to sexism, racism, and anti-immigration policies, a multi-layered burden that white women do not face.
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.