Take Action: Support the NYS Equal Pay Bill
April 14, 2015 was Equal Pay Day, which marked how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. A strong equal pay bill (A.6075/Michele Titus) has already been introduced. Join forces with NOW-NYC by calling your Assemblymembers; they need to hear from YOU! Let’s amplify our voices for women’s economic empowerment.
How to Take Action:
Help us flood the phones in support of fair pay for women. Make calls to:
Here’s what you can say: “My name is [___], and I live in [your neighborhood]. April 14th was Equal Pay Day, and I’m calling to urge you to act this month to support the NYS Equal Pay Bill A.6075 (sponsored by Assemblymember Titus). New York has a long way to go to ending gender discrimination in the workplace. Please do all you can to pass this bill! It would be a big step forward for women and families.”
Personalize and strengthen your message by stating more about why equal pay matters to YOU and your family or friends OR by using your favorite stats. For example: as a working Mom; a college student just getting started; someone who experienced workplace discrimination….It’s critical that our laws work to stop pay discrimination.)
If you have more time, you can also call:
(2) Speaker Carl Heastie 718-654-6539 and
Assemblymember Michele Titus (Sponsor of the Equal Pay Bill) 718-327-1845
Here’s what you can say: “As a local NOW member, I’m calling to thank you for your leadership on pay equality for women. I fully support the NYS Equal Pay Bill A.6075. New York has a long way to go to ending gender discrimination in the workplace. Thank you for doing all you can to end the wage gap and advance the women and families of New York.” (Be sure to mention your name and neighborhood, and personalize your message if you’d like.)
Why We Need the Equal Pay Bill:
In New York State, women earn only 86% of what men earn, and this wage gap is even larger for women of color: African-American women earn only 66% and Latinas earn only 54% of what men earn. Current research shows that mothers are the sole or primary breadwinner in more than 40% of families nationwide. In New York City, 40% of single mothers live in poverty with their children. By closing the wage gap, we will help lift families out of poverty and strengthen the economic security of women and their families statewide.
The New York State Equal Pay Legislation will:
(1) Outlaw wage secrecy policies and prevent employer retaliation for sharing wage information. A majority of private sector U.S. employees – 61% – say that their employers discourage or prohibit any discussion of wage or salary.
(2) Strengthen the enforcement of equal pay laws, by closing a current loophole in the law that makes it easier for employers to justify paying women less. Similar to the federal Paycheck Fairness Act, this bill will raise the bar on the affirmative defense that employers use in justifying pay differentials, changing the law from “any other factor other than sex” to “a bona fide factor other than sex.”
(3) Establish equal wages for employees who work for the same employer but at different workplaces (within the same county). Currently only employees at the same physical location have to be paid the same wage.
(4) Hold employers accountable, by increasing damages that an individual who brings and wins a pay discrimination case in court to 300% of unpaid wages.
About Equal Pay Day:
Equal Pay Day was established in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) as a public awareness event to illuminate the gap between men’s and women’s wages. Equal Pay Day symbolizes the point into the next year to which a woman must work to achieve pay equity for the previous year.