Erie County Legislature pushes for employers to pay employees fair wages

Posted at 11:44 AM, Apr 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-10 11:44:09-04

On 'Women's Equal Pay Day' the Erie County Legislature Democratic Caucus announced its support for a state ban on wage-history discrimination.

According to a release from the caucus, women in New York make 89 cents for every dollar made by a man. This wage gap increases for minority groups, with African-American women making 64 cents and Latinas making 54 cents.

Majority Leader April N.M. Baskin, Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams and County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced their support for the ban Tuesday morning. A legislative resolution has been submitted by Legislator Baskin that would prevent employers from using salary history to set wages for potential employees. 

According to Legislator Baskin, this could break the cycle for women who have historically been paid less than their male counterparts, forcing employers to choose a fair wage for all of their new employees, regardless of whether or not their previous salary was influenced by race or gender. "A woman's salary should be based on her talent and experience and the negotiating skills she brings to the table...we must let our state elected officials know this issue is important," says Baskin.

Assembly Bill A2040C was approved by the state assembly in 2017 by a bipartisan 133-11 vote but has yet to be advanced in the state senate.