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Westchester Legislators Fight Wage Discrimination

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Yesterday, seven members of the Democratic Caucus introduced the Wage History Anti-Discrimination bill. This will prohibit employers from asking prospective employees about their previous salary history. Employers often ask prospective employees to provide prior salary histories in order to set salary pay rates. This practice perpetuates discrimination against women and people of color who historically earn lower salaries throughout their careers.


“An applicant’s salary should be based on their job qualifications and the value of the job they are being hired to do, not what they made in the past,” said Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining). “Disclosing salary history to employers contributes to wage inequality. Women begin earning less at the very outset of their careers. One study found that even in their very first job after college, women typically earn 6.6% less than men. I am proud to stand with Assemblywoman Galef, my colleagues on the Board, and advocates from all over the County in support of this legislation that will help level the playing field for Westchester’s working families.”


“On behalf of CWA Local 1180 and President Arthur Cheliotes, we would like to thank Majority Leader Borgia & members of the Democratic Caucus for introducing this important piece of legislation. This is not a charity case for women or any particular group, it is something that effects all of us.  Working families depend on income from all members of the household and this legislation aims to boost income levels across the board. The time has come to pass this initiative,” said John O’Malley, Legislative Coordinator, CWA Local 1180.


“This is the year we are celebrating the centennial anniversary of women’s right to vote in New York, we are a state that is always ahead of the curve and we need to do the same on this vital issue. The number of women owned businesses are growing, the number of women on college campuses has soared to new heights, but we are still far from full equality. This legislation, which I have co-sponsored on the state level, aims to eliminate the any wage gap by eliminating one of its root causes,” said Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D-Ossining).


“This is legislation that would best be done on the state level, and thanks to the leadership of Assemblywoman Galef it has passed the New York State Assembly, but however, we have the issue of the New York State Senate, which has shown little interest in the issue. We must do this here on the County level to make sure someone has the back of the working families of Westchester County,” added Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson).


"The Westchester Women’s Agenda (WWA) is pleased to support legislation at the County level that would prohibit employers from seeking salary history from prospective employees, as we advocated in our recent “Status of Women in Westchester” Report.  By eliminating questions regarding an applicant’s previous compensation—which is often used as a benchmark from which to determine starting pay in a new position—employers take a vital step to stop perpetuating a cycle of suppressed wages for women and people of color within the workforce,” said Noelle Damico, Co-Chair, Westchester Women's Agenda.


Click here for the Wage History Anti-Discrimination bill

 

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