Can you believe 2019 is almost over? Time flies when you’re busy resisting and persisting! But there’s one thing that truly hasn’t come soon enough – Latina Equal Pay Day. We “celebrated” Equal Pay Day on April 2nd, marking the fact that women of all races must work an average of more than 3 extra months just to earn what white men were paid in just 12 months in 2018. However, averages don’t tell the whole story.
Latinas have to wait until TODAY, November 20th – nearly the end of 2019 – to earn what white men made in just 12 months in 2018. Yes, that’s nearly 11 extra months of work and why we have the very last equal pay day of the year.
When it comes down to dollars and cents, Latinas are paid just 54 cents for every dollar paid to white men. Latina moms, over 60% of whom are breadwinners for their families, make even less – just 46 cents for every dollar paid to white dads.
Hmm. According to our calculations, that’s just plain unfair. And we have to do something about it!
┃ We need ┃
7 ┃ 8┃ 9┃ / ┃
4 ┃5 ┃6 ┃ + ┃
1 ┃ 2 ┃ 3 ┃=┃
And we need it now! Here’s another jaw-dropping calculation for you: If the wage gap were eliminated, the typical Latina working in the United States would have enough money annually for 3 more years of childcare or 3 more years of tuition at a public university.
That’s a life-changing difference of $28,036 more per year – the difference between living in poverty or not.
These are the bills that need to be co-sponsored and passed by your members of Congress in order to meaningfully help narrow the wage gap:
- The Paycheck Fairness Act, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in March, would eliminate loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, helping to break harmful patterns of pay discrimination and strengthen workplace protections for women, including protecting against retaliation for discussing pay information with colleagues. This legislation would also prohibit employers from using wage history to determine a new hire’s salary, which would cut down on the perpetuation of unfair pay.
- The Raise the Wage Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in July, would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2025 and index it to keep pace with overall wages. The bill would also raise the federal minimum wage for tipped workers (currently making just $2.13 per hour) over time to match the regular minimum wage. With Latinas overrepresented in low-wage work, this legislation would give 32% of working Latinas a significant raise!
- The FAMILY Act would create a national *paid* family and medical leave insurance program to help ensure that people who work can take the time they need to address serious health and caregiving needs, including parental leave and elder care. Latinx workers have the least access to paid family leave at just 25% and when women take one year of unpaid time off from work for things like medical or family leave, they see 39% less in later annual earnings than women who stay in the paid workforce.
- The Healthy Families Act would establish seven paid sick days for those who work at businesses with 15 or more employees. Right now, over HALF of Latinas are unable to earn a single paid sick days through their jobs, which means that catching the flu, or a kiddo catching a cold, can mean days of lost income. For the average worker without paid sick days, the cost of taking unpaid sick time is a serious matter. Just 3 days of missed work due to illness is equivalent to losing an entire month’s grocery budget.
If we don’t act now to close the wage gap, Latinas stand to each lose over ONE. MILLION. DOLLARS over the course of their career.
That’s unacceptable. Latinas need 100% of their paycheck, not just 54% of it.
Together, we are a powerful force for Latinx women and families!
>>> P.S. – Check out our short & powerful new video – Latina Equal Pay Day 101!