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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It is necessary for New York State to continue being a leader on women’s rights issues by enforcing the rights women have in the workplace and educating both workers and employers about these laws.