Women earn on average, 80 cents on the dollar a man earns. A figure that has remained static for more than a decade. Today is equal pay day: the day that marks the time a woman has to work until to earn the same as a man did last year. But as the United State of Women reminds us with this great illustration from Ashley Lukashevsky, the gap is more severe for most women of color.
For Latinx women, the gap is more severe, earning just 54 cents for every dollar a white man makes.
Over a forty year career, this translates to over $1,000,000 in lost wages for Latinx women. Affecting not just women, but their entire families.
But yesterday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Aileen Rizo, a former math teacher and consultant now running for California State Assembly. The court overturned a 1982 opinion that has allowed employers to use salaries at previous jobs to justify discriminatory pay.
In his opinion for the case, the late Judge Stephen Reinhardt called the gender pay gap what it is: the exploitation of working women.
Although the Act has prohibited sex-based wage discrimination for more than fifty years, the financial exploitation of working women embodied by the gender pay gap continues to be an embarrassing reality of our economy. -Judge Stephen Reinhardt, U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Time for an #EqualPayDay happy dance.