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Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy    JOINDONATE
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy    JOINDONATE

Equal Pay Day Was April 2nd (By Barb Thomas, LWVNYS Women’s Issues Specialist)

According to laws already on the books, Equal Pay Day for ALL Women should be December 31. But it’s not. The average woman must work far into the next year to earn what the average man earned the previous year.

It takes until April 2nd for women who work full-time to catch up with their male counterparts; mom’s equal pay compared to dad’s happens on June 10; black women reach parity on August 22; and equal pay day for Latinas is observed on Nov. 20. There are wide wage gaps among Asian women, so some catch up by March 5 but others not until mid-July.

The wage gap starts at the beginning of a woman’s career and multiplies over time. Indeed, right out of college, women experience a 7% wage gap. Females are often pushed into lower paying jobs and job titles that allow women to be paid less for substantially equal work. The pay gap can begin even earlier as teens. According to a 2018 analysis, boys earn on average twice what girls earn for chores.

Collectively women in New York State lose $17 billion dollars a year due to the pay gap. This hurts women and their families, but it also hurts the communities they support: local businesses are hurt through lost sales, as are local schools and governments that depend upon sales tax and property tax dollars to fund the programs and the infrastructure those communities need to exist.

Change needs to happen but there is good news. Our state legislature and governor have the opportunity to pass game-changing laws this session. And, Congress may finally move forward on common sense reform. That will only happen if we all speak out, contact our elected representatives (not in the League’s name, but your own), and call for equal pay for all New York women, now.

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