Today, Thursday, August 13, is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. Why the 13th of August? Because it signifies the number of days into the year the average Black woman must work to equal her male colleagues’ pay from the previous year. In hard numbers, that means the average Black woman makes $0.62 for every $1.00 earned by men.
At the Law Offices of Lauren Abrams, we work and also support the efforts of Equal Rights Advocates and the other women’s organizations who are making a difference every day by fighting to close the gender wage gap between women and men.
It Is Illegal To Pay Women Less Than Men In California. Period.
Beginning with the California Equal Pay Act in 1949, our state has long led the way in the fight for equal compensation for equal work. In October 2015, the Equal Pay Act was strengthened by the passage of the Fair Pay Act, which broadened the definition from “equal pay for equal work” to “equal pay for substantially similar work.”
It also narrowed the available defenses employers have available to them when accused of paying women less than men, and made it illegal to retaliate or discriminate against women who tried to enforce their right to equal compensation.
In September of 2016, the Equal Pay Act was further amended by the passage of the Wage Equality Act, which added race and ethnicity to sex as protected classes. In short, it has been illegal to pay Black women less than their male counterparts for more than three years, and yet we continue to see not so much a gap, but a gulf between their wages.
California Wage Gap Statistics
- The annual gender wage gap between men and women earning medial salaries is $7,227.
- While on average women make $0.86 for every $1.00 men earn, Asian women earn only $0.72, Black women $0.63, and Latinas a paltry $0.43 per $1.00 earned by their male counterparts.
- Over the course of a 40-year career, the average Black woman will lose nearly $1 million due to unequal pay.
- Geographically, in 44 of California’s 53 congressional districts, women making the median salary working full time year-round make less than men working full time year-round.
Support The Drive To Close The Wage Gap
We hope that you will take some time today to support the cause of pay equality by lending your voice to the cause on social media, attending a live event to educate yourself about the issues facing Black women in the workforce, or providing a financial contribution to Equal Rights Advocates or an organization of your choice.