Assemblyman Stirpe Calls on State Senate to Vote on Women’s Equality NOW!

Here we go again. It’s 2014 and the Women’s Equality Act is still nowhere. Our daughters, sisters, aunts and mothers are still facing the same discrimination in many aspects of society that they were facing more than 50 years ago. That’s why I voted in favor of the full Women’s Equality Act – all 10 points (A.8070). No woman should be considered 9/10’s of a person. What New Yorkers are looking for is statesmanship. What we are left with is political theater. It’s time for the state Senate to act to ensure complete equality for women.

Research shows that women in New York State earn 84 cents for every dollar men earn, creating a substantial yearly pay gap of roughly $8,275 between men and women working full time. Those who work the same job should earn the same wage regardless of their gender. This disparity threatens a family’s economic security and especially hurts single moms already struggling to provide for their family.

The WEA would ban employers from denying work or promotions to employees simply because they have children. Raising children is a tough and admirable job; no one should be discriminated against for having a family. The legislation would also prohibit workplace discrimination against pregnant women, requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees.

The Women’s Equality Act would also strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence by creating a program that allows domestic violence victims to seek temporary orders of protection through electronic means rather than having to appear in person. The bill makes it clear that a victim of domestic violence, who has an order of protection against her abuser, cannot be accused of violating her own order of protection. Further, the act would prohibit landlords from discriminating against victims of domestic violence.

These are only some of the protections women would gain if the Women’s Equality Act becomes law. The 10 points of the act would accomplish the following:

  1. Achieve pay equity
  2. Stop sexual harassment in the workplace
  3. Fight against human trafficking
  4. Grant domestic violence victims better protections
  5. End housing discrimination for domestic violence victims
  6. Ensure women can make their own reproductive healthcare decisions
  7. Ban employment discrimination
  8. Stop pregnancy discrimination
  9. Help discrimination victims recover legal fees
  10. Prevent housing discrimination against those in need

It is now time for the state Senate to act on the full 10 points. The Assembly Majority has supported full women’s equality by passing each and every one of the WEA’s 10 points. The state Senate must do the same, not leaving any measure behind.