Stirpe: Equal pay legislation moves state one step closer to full equality

Al Stirpe

Assemblyman Al Stirpe (D-Cicero) announced the Assembly passed legislation to help close the gender pay gap and move New York State closer to full equality. The passage of the legislation coincides with Equal Pay Day ­– April 4 – which represents how far into the new year women must work to earn the same amount their male colleagues made last year.

“It’s truly shameful that in 2017 this wage gap still exists, hurting millions of women and their families,” said Stirpe. “This legislation puts protections in place to ensure that women aren’t shortchanged and are compensated the same as men working equal jobs. I urge the Senate to pass this legislation so the governor can sign it into law.”

Women across the country earn 80 cents for every dollar a man does. In Onondaga County, the gap is even wider than the state average, with women earning only 75 cents for every dollar a man does.

The Assembly legislation implements the New York State Fair Pay Act, which makes it illegal for employers to pay their workers different wages based on race, gender and national origin (A.4696). The
legislation also contains a measure to ensure state law complies with the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and grants public employees the right to sue for compensation and enforce equal pay disparities (A.2425).

Additionally, the Assembly passed legislation to create a statewide wage equality policy for public employees and direct the Civil Service Commission to study wage inequities on the state payroll. This will help ensure that employees with equivalent jobs receive the same pay regardless of race, gender or national origin (A.658, A.2549).

“Women work just as hard as men and yet still face a wage gap even as they’re more likely to be financially independent or the sole provider for their families,” said Stirpe. “It’s time for New York to live up to its progressive ideals and institute much-needed fairness and equality of opportunity.”

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