After seven women State Senators urged State Senate majority leader Dean Skelos to support gender equality legislation last week, Senatorial hopeful Andrew Gounardes held a press conference yesterday, along with a group of female community leaders, in order to help in the push for equal pay.
During the last 50 years, the United States Congress has passed two bills that make it illegal to discriminate against women by paying them less than men – in both 1963 and 2009.
But state level loopholes still stand in the way of fair pay for millions of Americans who lack a Y chromosome.
The current bill in question, known as the New York State Fair Pay Act, described by the Gounardes campaign as an “equal pay for equal work” bill, would help state law accommodate federal anti discrimination legislation.
It had been passed by the State Assembly several times, the most recent of which being last month.
“Somehow, in the year 2012, there are still women across New York who earn less than men do for the same work. It’s sad. It’s wrong,” Gounardes told Bay Ridge Odyssey. “And it’s time for every one of us to stop looking the other way and to start doing something about it.”
The campaign was also happy to point out that Senator Marty Golden – who Gounardes would like to unseat in November – had voted against the measure, calling it too expensive to implement.
Pointing out that Mothers Day is this coming weekend, Gounardes asked New York pols to put their money where their mother-praising mouths are.
“Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and you’ll hear a lot of politicians making grand statements about the role of women,” Gounardes said in a statement. “ Let’s get serious: there are few better ways to show our respect to the millions of women who have sacrificed for their families, careers, and communities than to ensure that they get the fair pay that they’ve earned.”
Statistics provided by Gounardes included those by the National Women’s Law Center, which states the average full time woman worker full in New York State earns 83 cents to every dollar that a man makes for the same job. For Hispanic women, that number drops to 55 cents.