Jean-Pierre: “It’s absolutely shameful that we’re still fighting this battle in 2017.”
Albany, NY - April 5, 2017 - Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D-Babylon) announced that she passed a series of measures to help ensure women earn equal pay for equal work. The legislation coincides with Equal Pay Day, April 4, which marks how far into the year women have to work to earn the same amount their male counterparts earned the previous year.
“It’s absolutely shameful that we’re still fighting this battle in 2017,” said Jean-Pierre. “The gender pay gap in itself is an enormous injustice, but it also has far-reaching consequences, hurting not only women but also their families and the economy. I won’t stop pushing to close the gap once and for all and ensure women have full equality.”
Women in New York State only earn 89 cents for every dollar a man does. The gap is even worse for African-American and Hispanic women, who earn 66 cents and 56 cents for every dollar earned by their white male counterpart, respectively. Altogether, New York women working full time lose a combined $54 billion a year because of pay inequity. Jean-Pierre noted that pay equity is more than just a matter of economic fairness, especially for working mothers who also have to contend with the rising costs of child care and everyday expenses which often push financial security out of reach.
To ensure women have greater protections under the law, the Assembly legislation enacts the New York State Fair Pay Act to address and enforce pay equity, including broadening equal pay protections to include equivalent jobs and ensuring that traditional female and minority jobs are not undervalued (A.4696).
The legislative package also includes measures to implement a state policy of wage equality for state and municipal employees, as well as direct the Civil Service Commission to study and publish a report evaluating wage disparities among public employees in order to establish where and how inequities exist. (A.658, A.2549). Further, legislation was passed to ensure the state complies with the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and gives public employees a private right of action to sue for compensation and enforce equal pay disparities (A.2425).
“We’ve come too far in the fight for women’s rights to stop now,” said Jean-Pierre. “I won’t back down until women are taking home every dollar they rightfully earned.”