COMPTROLLER LEMBO URGES SUPPORT FOR PAY EQUITY LEGISLATION
Contact: Tara Downes
Comptroller Kevin Lembo today urged support for legislation that seeks to stop practices that continue to deprive women – particularly women of color – of equal pay for equal work.
In written testimony to the Labor Committee of the state legislature, Lembo called for support for House Bill 5210, An Act Concerning Various Pay Equity and Fairness Matters. Lembo commended the cosponsors of this legislation, which builds on a 2015 legislative initiative by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy that prohibits employers from blocking their employees from disclosing their salary information.
"There are a number of factors that continue to contribute to wage disparities between men and women that must be stopped," Lembo said. "This bill breaks bad cycles - first, by prohibiting employers from taking prior pay inequity into account when negotiating salaries and ending the compounding cycle of the gender wage gap.
"This legislation also prohibits using maternity leave or medical leave as a basis for reduced salary increases, which invariably impacts women more than men."
Lembo noted that the Institute for Women’s Policy Research reported that the 2015 median annual earnings for women were $40,742, while $51,212 for men. At this pace, women will not reach pay equality until 2059. These disparities are even worse for women of color. Hispanic women make $0.54 on the dollar paid to a white man, and African-American women make $0.63 on that same dollar. In fact, the median earnings for Hispanic women are well below the qualifying income threshold for food stamps eligibility, at $31,247.
"It’s time - really, beyond time - that we speed things up to achieve equal pay for equal work," Lembo said.