April 14, 2015

Statement from Speaker Carl Heastie on National Equal Pay Day

It has been more than 50 years since the passing of the National Equal Pay Act and, while we have come a long way, women in New York are still paid an average of 86 percent of what men are paid for comparable work. The gap for women of color is even larger as African American women make an average of just 64 cents and Latina women make approximately 61 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts earn.

This is unacceptable, not only on Equal Pay Day, but every day. Equal pay for equal work must be the rule, not the exception. Women are heads of companies, heads of households and heads of state and it is time they are compensated fairly.

I commend my colleagues in the Assembly for continuing to support the New York State Fair Pay Act, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate by gender or national origin by paying different wages. Later this month, the Assembly will once again be considering a number of bills to ensure equal pay for our citizens. I urge the members in the Senate to do the same.