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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

At Ticker-Tape Parade Celebrating The World Champion U.S. Women's Soccer Team, Governor Cuomo Signs Pay Equity Legislation to Close the Gender Wage Gap

Governor's Press Office Photo

Governor Cuomo today signed into law legislation that expands equal pay laws to prohibit unequal pay on the basis of a protected class for all substantially similar work (S5248B/A8093A), and forbids employers from asking prospective employees about their salary history (S6549/A5308B). Governor Cuomo also called on U.S. Soccer to pay the women's national team the same as the men's national team. The Governor signed the measures, a key component of his 2019 Women's Justice Agenda, at the ticker-tape parade celebrating the world champion U.S. Women's Soccer Team. These actions build on common sense measures championed by the Governor this year, including rape shield protections for victims of sex trafficking, enhancing workplace sexual harassment laws and funding a community college program that will help single moms move out of poverty.

Governor's Press Office Photo

"There is no rationale why women should not get paid what men get paid. These are women's soccer players, they play the same game as the men's soccer players, and they play it better - so if there is any economic rationale, the men should get paid less than the women," Governor Cuomo said. "New York will continue to lead the way forward and stand in solidarity with women and girls in every corner of this state. By signing this legislation, we are not only doing the right thing, we are also doing the moral thing and equal pay for equal work is now the law in the State of New York."

Governor's Press Office Photo

"Countless women put their heart and soul into their jobs every day, and at the end of the day still earn less than men," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Although New York has among the lowest gender wage gap in the nation, the gap still exists. That is unacceptable. The U.S. Women's Soccer Team brought home the win, and made our nation proud. Their victory magnified the disgraceful reality that U.S. Soccer does not pay the women's team the same as the men's team. We have made progress to ensure women's rights and protections, but we will not rest until women achieve full equality."

The legislation signed today prohibits all employers, public and private, who do business in New York State, from asking prospective employees about their salary history and compensation, and expands the definition of "equal pay for equal work." These measures build on two executive orders signed by the Governor last year to eliminate the wage gap by prohibiting state entities from evaluating candidates based on wage history and requiring state contractors to disclose data on the gender, race and ethnicity of employees - leveraging taxpayer dollars to drive transparency and advance pay equity statewide.

Governor's Press Office Photo

In 2017, the Governor directed the Department of Labor to issue a report on the gender pay gap in New York and provide recommendations to break the cycle of unfair, unequal compensation. After holding pay equity hearings across the state, the Department of Labor released its report last Spring. Acting immediately upon its recommendations, Governor Cuomo introduced a program bill to expand on his executive orders by instituting a salary history ban that prohibits all employers, public and private, who do business in New York from asking prospective employees about their salary history and compensation.

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