Congressman Steve Israel (NY-03) and Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (NY-04) joined the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation Women’s Group to sign a proclamation declaring April 12 as “Equal Pay Day” on Long Island.
“It is unacceptable that 53 years after the Equal Pay Act was signed into law that women still only make 79 cents for every dollar a man earns for doing the same work,” said Israel. “I am fighting hard in Washington to eliminate pay discrimination in order to put more money in the pockets of hardworking New York women and strengthen our local economy. I am proud to join Kathleen in declaring April 12th as ‘Equal Pay Day’ on Long Island, because equal pay isn’t a women’s issue—it’s a family issue that is comes down to growing New York’s middle class.”
April 12 represents the day when, more than three months into the year, women’s wages catch up to what men were paid in the previous year. American women who work full-time year-round still earn on average 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, amounting to a yearly gap of $10,762 between full-time working men and women. Women won’t see pay equity with men until 2058 based on the rate that the pay gap has been closing since 1960.
“Equal Pay Day shouldn’t even exist in 21st century America,” said Rice. “The fact that it still takes more than three months for women’s earnings to catch up to what their male colleagues made the year before shows how much work we have ahead of us to close the wage gap. Achieving pay equity is not just a matter of fairness for women stuck earning less than men for equal work—it’s also an opportunity to unleash women’s potential to participate fully in our local economies. That’s why I’ll keep fighting in Congress to make equal pay a reality and make ‘Equal Pay Day’ a thing of the past.”
Israel and Rice are both cosponsors of the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1619), which updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by providing effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal pay for equal work.