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.
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.
To mark Equal Pay Day, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced legislation that would prevent employers in the State from relying on or inquiring about a job applicant’s salary history, a practice that disadvantages women and people of color who historically earn lower wages.
Equal Pay Day is not a holiday. It is a day to recognize the many structural inequities, from sexism to racism to the maternal wage gap, that result in U.S. women earning 82 cents—and Black women earning 68 cents—for every dollar their white male counterparts make.
In honor of International Women’s Day, we ask for you to join us in advocating for an end to this practice by sharing this letter publicly on social media today, Thursday, March 8 and using both #SalaryHistory and #IWD2018.
Low-wage women in particular need supportive laws and policies to help them stay on the job, free of harassment and abuse, earning the fair and equal wages they deserve. That’s why it’s crucial that, at a time when the Trump Administration is rolling back progress for women, New York is moving forward by enacting bold reforms that promote equality and help level the playing field.
As Election Day approaches, you have the power to demand change from your elected officials and to fight for fair wages and better jobs, especially for low-income workers and workers of color. Ask your candidates where they stand on these three critical issues: