Past Work on Equal Pay Initiatives
New Mexico Earnings Gaps Analysis: New Mexico Women Lag Far Behind Men in Economic Opportunity- The Southwest Women’s Law Center (SWLC) and Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish released this county-by-county analysis of the pay gap in New Mexico in April 2008. For a copy of the report, click here. Some of the findings are:
Lilly Ledbetter’s Visit to New Mexico – Hosting nationally-renown equal pay advocate, Lilly Ledbetter, has been part of the Southwest Women’s Law Center’s continuing efforts to bring attention to pay inequity while also promoting state and national legislation aimed at closing the wage gap. In April 2009, Ms. Ledbetter came to New Mexico to address dignitaries and supporters of the Southwest Women’s Law Center at the SWLC’s 4th anniversary celebration. Former Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish introduced Ms. Ledbetter.
New Mexico Initiatives Promoting Equal Pay
Taskforce on Fair and Equal Pay
Former Governor Bill Richardson created this taskforce in 2009, to study and remedy any pay equity and job segregation issues with businesses holding contracts with the State. A report from the taskforce, “Gender Pay Gap Report in State Government from Governor Bill Richardson’s Office,” authored by Martha Burk, Ph.D., is a preliminary examination of gender wage gaps in six departments of state government. For a copy of the report, click here.
Equal Pay Taskforce
Representative Rhonda King sponsored HB 325 to create a taskforce of diverse representatives to study wage disparities between men, women, non-minorities, and minorities, and to provide policy recommendations. (2003 passed) The Task Force issued a report authored by Carol Horwitz, Ph.D. in December of 2003.
Prohibiting Adverse Action Against an Employee for Discussing Salary or Other Pay sponsored by Senator Linda Lopez. This bill proposed to amend the New Mexico Human Rights Act to protect employees who discuss their salaries with co-workers (2009 not passed). For the bill text, click here.
Prohibiting Adverse Action Against an Employee for Discussing Salary or Other Pay sponsored by Representative Al Park. This bill proposed to amend the New Mexico Human Rights Act to protect employees who discuss their salaries with co-workers (2009 not passed). For the bill text, click here.
Federal Initiatives Promoting Equal Pay
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
This Act amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal anti-discrimination employment law, to respond to the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court had interpreted Title VII to require complaints to be filed within 180 days of when the discrimination first began, which was an insurmountable deadline given that employees can work for years without learning of ongoing discrimination (January 29, 2009 signed into law by President Obama).
Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 12 and S.182)
Sponsored in the Senate by then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and in the House by Representative Rosa DeLauro, this bill is aimed at strengthening the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by, among other things, improving remedy provisions, facilitating class action Equal Pay Act claims and prohibiting employer retaliation. (January 9, 2009 passed by the House and is still pending in the Senate).
Fair Pay Act
Introduced in the last Congress by Senator Tom Harkin and in the House by Representative Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, this bill would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA). It is aimed at equalizing wage disparities between jobs that are segregated on the basis of sex, race, or national origin, but require equivalent skills, effort, responsibility, and working conditions. It is also aimed at prohibiting employer retaliation and requiring employer record-keeping.
For information on these federal initiatives, visit:
National Committee on Pay Equity’s website
Equal Pay Day
Every year, equal pay advocates across the U.S. use wage gap data to mark the day on which women in this country have earned the same amount as men have earned by January 1st. For the past several years, the date has fallen in April. In 2013, it was April 9th. For more information of this, click here.