Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Henrietta) announced that he passed legislation to help ensure equal pay for equal work and tackle the gender pay gap so all New Yorkers are compensated fairly.
It should go without saying that the same work deserves the same pay, said Bronson. Yet for too long, women have experienced discrimination in the workforce, whether its unequal pay or barriers to traditionally male-dominated jobs. Its time we deliver on the principle that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to succeed.
In 2016, the median weekly pay for a woman in New York State was $840, compared to $975 for men.1 Nationally, women earn about 80 cents on average for every dollar a white man earns.2 The gap is even wider for women of color, with African-American women earning 63 cents and Hispanic women earning 54 cents as compared to their white male counterparts.3
The legislative package Bronson helped pass includes several measures to protect women from pay discrimination. The New York Fair Pay Act enforces pay equity, including broadening equal pay protections to include equivalent jobs (A.4696). It also ensures that jobs traditionally occupied by women and minorities are not undervalued. Another measure bars employers from requesting or requiring that job seekers or current employees provide salary or wage history as a condition of employment or promotion (A.2040-C). When women start out at a lower pay grade simply because their previous job paid less, this further contributes to and continues the cycle of pay inequality, noted Bronson.
The package also implements a state policy of wage equality for municipal and state employees and directs the Civil Service Commission to study and publish a report on wage disparities among public employees (A.658, A.2549). Another measure ensures that the state complies with the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in giving public employees a private right of action to sue for compensation and enforce equal pay disparities (A.2425).