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Pay Disparity Hurting Westchester Women, Lowey Says

U.S. Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-Westchester, is joining with local women's leaders and elected officials to highlight "severe economic consequences of pay inequality for New York women."
U.S. Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-Westchester, is joining with local women's leaders and elected officials to highlight "severe economic consequences of pay inequality for New York women." Photo Credit: File Photo

HARRISON, N.Y. -- U.S. Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-Westchester, is joining with local leaders and elected officials to highlight "severe economic consequences of pay inequality for New York women."

Lowey said in a press release she is highlighting "a number of sobering facts regarding pay disparity in New York," including that women are paid 84 cents for every dollar paid to men which results in an $8,275 per year wage gap, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“This is a matter of basic fairness, and it’s time for 'Mad Men'-style inequality to end,” Lowey said in the release. “There are serious, significant impediments for the women of New York who do not receive equal pay for equal work. Leveling the playing field would provide the average woman in our state 29 more months of family health insurance premiums or 2,000 additional gallons of gas. This gap spans industry and education level, and remains a problem even when accounting for personal choices such as having children.”

Lowey joined local women’s leaders and elected officials, including Harriet D. Cornell, District 10 member of the Rockland County Legislature, and Cameron Spier, president of the Rockland Business Women’s Network, who emphasized the consequences of pay disparity for Rockland and Westchester women.

“When I started Rockland’s Commission on Women’s Issues in 1984, pay equity was one of our priorities. How sad we are still fighting the same battle,” said Cornell. “Paycheck fairness — equal pay for equal work — should be a no-brainer. Women doing the same job with the same qualifications as men should be paid the same. It seems obvious; and yet, it hasn’t happened. It has been turned into a political issue, and fairness has gone out the door. While pay disparity has lessened over the years, women are suffering — and that means their families are suffering from this economic discrimination. I applaud Congresswoman Lowey’s leadership and stand with her.”

Lowey has co-sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act to help women fight wage discrimination. The bill would "prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who discuss salaries with colleagues; put gender-based discrimination on equal footing with other forms of wage discrimination, such as race or national origin — and allow women to take legal action for damages; require employers to prove that pay differences exist for legitimate, job-related reasons; create a negotiation skills training program for women and girls; recognize employers for excellence in their pay practices; provide businesses, especially small ones, assistance with equal pay practices; and enhance the ability of the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate and enforce pay discrimination laws," according to the release.

“Simply put, when women succeed, America succeeds,” Lowey said. “On Mother’s Day, too many moms were worrying about their struggle to provide for their children. It’s time to give women and families the economic security that comes with equal pay for equal work.”