Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Action Alert: Tell NY State Senate to pass the Fair Pay Act & end the wage gap

From Women's City Club

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Equal Pay Act, a law intended to end gender-based pay discrimination. At the time women were earning, on average, only 59 cents for every dollar earned by men. Today, the pay gap sits at 77 cents on the dollar, and is substantially lower for African American and Latina women. That means that in nearly 50 years, we've progressed at a rate of only about half a penny per year. 
Since 2002, the comprehensive NYS Fair Pay Act has passed in the Assembly annually, yet has stagnated in Senate committees.  
New York State Senator Liz Krueger has introduced a compromise bill (S05674) which focuses on protecting workers from retaliation if they voluntarily disclose and discuss their salaries.  
Wage discrimination often remains undetected due to workplace policies that punish employees for voluntarily sharing wage information with their colleagues.  Krueger's bill would prohibit retaliation based on wage disclosure.  By allowing workers to discuss wage information, this bill would make it easier for workers to detect and report discrimination.
This bill has no price tag for businesses, and it will give New York workers the knowledge they need to protect their rights for equal pay.  To help urge the Senate leadership to bring this bill to the floor, call or email:
Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos
For more information, check out the Wage Disclosure Law fact sheet and/or contact:
Beverly Neufeld, President NYWA and Director EPCNYC - bcneufeld@gmail.com 
Joyce S. Johnson, Chair NYWA Government Affairs - joycesjohnson617@gmail.com  
Dina Bakst, Co Founder, A Better Balance - dbakst@abetterbalance.org
The new healthcare reform law will lower the cost of preventive services for women by eliminating co-pays and deductibles for these services in all new insurance plans. However, there is no guarantee that "preventive services" will be defined to include birth control.  Raising Women's Voices (RWV) is a national initiative working to make sure women's voices are heard and women's concerns are addressed as policymakers put the new health reform law into action.
Later this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will release implementation guidelines for the reform law, including a segment on women's preventative services.  To inform the Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius that comprehensive contraceptive care should absolutely be included in these guidelines, please email or call her at:
To read RWV's action alert memorandum on this issue, click here
Act now to help make contraception an essential prevention service.  Contact Health and Human Services and sign the RWV petition today!

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