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We are a non-profit state federation. Our membership includes women and men of every age, race, religion, political party and socio-economic background. We are a leading advocate on work-life balance and workplace equity issues.

In this section, you will read recent news releases and advocacy concerns as well as view our opinion editorials and letters to the editor. Members of the press who are writing about issues of concern to working women are encouraged to contact our Communications Committee at [email protected].

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Pay Equity in New York

Author: Communications Committee/Thursday, April 17, 2014/Categories: General

For those that aren’t familiar, pay equity is the term that has been coined for helping to ensure that women are paid the same as their male counterparts for equal work. Statistics show that for every $1.00 earned by a man, a woman makes $.77. This is a wage gap of 23%. The data shows that this statistic is true for virtually every single occupation, including those that have been predominately held by women.

While the gap has very slowly started to lessen over time, many agree that more needs to be done. As a result, legislators in both the New York State assembly and senate have introduced legislation over the years to help close this pay gap and ensure equal pay for equal work. Unfortunately for working women in New York, no version of this legislation has ever passed both houses. In order for a bill to become a law in New York, a bill must pass both the assembly and the senate, in the exact same form.

New hope for a legislative solution to pay equity was realized last year when governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his 10 point women’s equality act legislation during his 2013 state of the state address. This legislation includes many issues of importance to women, and its’ passage would help to advance women’s rights in New York as no other legislation has in decades. Pay equity is one of the 10 points included in this legislation. The legislation was passed by the assembly during the last legislative session in its entirety. Ultimately, the senate did not pass the full 10 point package.

One of the pieces included in the women’s equality legislation deals with reproductive rights, and many senators are not supportive of this piece of the package. However, the senate did pass the other 9 points of the w omen’s e quality a ct as standalone legislation. t his included the pay equity piece of the legislation. The assembly has once again passed the full 10 point w omen’s e quality act legislation during this 2014 legislative session. It is not yet clear what will happen in the senate, though it appears that they will once again pass the 9 standalone bills. We won’t know until the end of June whether the senate and assembly can reach a compromise on the full 10 point package or if an agreement will be reached on passing the individual pieces of the Women’s Equality Act.

NYS women, Inc. is very supportive of the w omen’s e quality a ct and is a member of the New York State women’s e quality Coalition. The Coalition is a statewide alliance of more than 850 women’s groups, businesses, religious organizations, medical groups and advocacy organizations. t he Coalition is united behind the mission of securing stronger laws for the women and families of New York State. t he mission of the Coalition ties directly into the legislative platform of NYS Women, Inc. If you would like to learn more about the Women’s Equality Act, you can visit www.nywomensequality.org/10-point-plan. For more information on the subject of pay equity generally, you can visit www.equalpaynewyork.org or www.pay-equity.org/

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