State Senate Candidate and City Councilwoman Demand Legislation to Address the Root Causes of Wage Disparity
September 12, 2018 (Rochester, NY) — In a joint announcement, Democratic State Senate candidate Jen Lunsford and Rochester City Councilwoman Jackie Ortiz called for increased efforts to address wage disparities affecting Latinas and other women working hourly wage jobs.
“The fact that women earn less than their male counterparts is no secret. But within that subset, Latinas earn even less,” Ortiz said. “On average, Latinas in New York earn just 56 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. There is no justification for such disparities to exist today, when men and women are performing similar work.”
Ortiz referenced an April 2018 report from The National Partnership of Women and Families that describes in detail the profound wage disparity among Latina workers. According to that report, nearly three million households in the U.S. are headed by Latinas, with nearly 36 percent of those households living below the poverty line. More than half of Latina mothers are the breadwinners in their household. (To download and review the complete April 2018 report, visit www.nationalpartnership.org/research-library/workplace-fairness/fair-pay/latinas-wage-gap.pdf.)
Lunsford, who is running to unseat Rich Funke in the 55th Senate District, met with Councilwoman Ortiz to discuss this problem. Lunsford pledged to maintain a strong focus on this important economic issue that keeps American women—particularly women of color—on unequal footing.
“Wage Disparity is a problem with deep roots,” Lunsford said. “Equal Pay laws provide an opportunity for women to seek justice in the courts, but they don’t address the factors that cause wage disparity. Those laws are reactive, but we need to be proactive. We must work to ensure that shift workers are given predictable schedules, that all workers are paid a fair minimum wage, that tipped workers are protected, and that our unions remain strong.”
Lunsford and Ortiz are calling for local, state and private-sector leaders to join them in implementing solutions that raise awareness about causes of this problem and the ways to address it.