(Town of Nelson, NY – July 2014) Women go to work every day in Central New York as business owners, doctors, farmers, nurses, police officers, firefighters and teachers. They serve in the military. They coach Little League and soccer teams. They work hard to provide for their families. But, despite all of this, women aren’t treated equally. It’s time for a change. I have supported the Women’s Equality Act (WEA) from the very beginning, and it’s time for the Senate to get on board too, because when women succeed, we all succeed.
Women in New York earn 84 cents for every dollar men earn, creating a substantial yearly pay gap of nearly $8,275 between men and women who work full time. Think about how much that adds up to in lost wages during a woman’s lifetime. The financial impact that this pay disparity has on women and their families – especially when a women is the sole provider – is extreme and unfair. Clearly, it’s time women earn equal pay for equal work, and the Women’s Equality Act helps achieve this.
No one should be discriminated against for having a family but it happens more than we realize. The Women’s Equality Act would ban employers from denying work or promotions to employees because they have children. The act would also require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees. Women should always have an equal opportunity to succeed and to provide adequately for their families. The WEA would put an end to these unfair practices.
The Women’s Equality Act would also strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence by creating a program that allows them to seek temporary orders of protection remotely, rather than having to appear in front of their abuser in court. The act would also prohibit landlords from discriminating against victims of domestic violence. Additionally, the act would protect victims of domestic violence by ensuring they are not accused of violating their own orders of protection. Unfortunately, there have been a number of instances where protected women have been arrested when the respondent violates an order of protection or when a protected woman appropriately contacts a respondent.
We are so close to making the Women’s Equality Act a reality. We’re just waiting on the Senate to do the right thing. All women deserve to be treated equally, and the Women’s Equality Act will help us get there. If we all work together, we can continue making Central New York a wonderful place to live and raise a family.