Gender Equity in the Workplace


Equal pay for equal work is the law of the land. Yet nationally, a woman makes 79 cents for each dollar earned by a man. New York State has a smaller wage gap, at 89 cents on the dollar. And for women of color in New York, the wage gap grows exponentially. Black women make only 66 cents, Latina women make 56 cents, and Asian women make 82 cents for each dollar a man makes. Righting this wrong requires a commitment to examining the root causes of the inequity, amending or re-applying the law to affect those root causes, stepping up enforcement, and changing workplace culture.


Pay disparities, even those based on deep-seated prejudices based on a woman’s “appropriate” role, are not the only aspect of work life that keep women down. The #MeToo movement has demonstrated the shocking and pervasive violence that has been accepted as a regular part of working life.


As Public Advocate, I sponsored a landmark law that prohibits employers in New York City from inquiring about a job applicant’s salary history -- a vital way of stopping the perpetuation of the gender pay gap. I published a series of reports addressing the gender wage gap including a first-of-its kind report identifying gender and salary data for all 300,000 New York City employees that shed light on the hiring, pay, and promotion practices of every City agency. I recently introduced legislation to create affordable child care for city employees by using space within city buildings.


As Attorney General, I will:

  • Fight for statewide legislation to mirror the law I helped to pass in New York City which bans employers from asking workers about their salary history;

  • Create a Wage Discrimination Task Force to investigate and prosecute instances of systemic wage discrimination that currently evade enforcement because they are hidden behind deep misconceptions about the role of women in the workplace;

  • Take on the wage gap by taking legal action to root out the myriad forms of discrimination against women that result in unequal pay: pregnancy discrimination, caregiver discrimination, and the chronic and wide-spread devaluation of “women’s work.”

  • Make sexual harassment and gender equity a central focus, ensuring that women have a reliable ally in the office who will use the full extent of her powers to defend women’s right to equal pay and to equality in all facets of our society.


Read my full policy brief outlining how I will build on my previous work to fight for gender equity in the workplace as New York State Attorney General.