Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the dates and locations for the upcoming pay equity hearings on June 26, July 11 and July 19. The hearings will focus on the causes, scope, and economic impact of the gender pay gap and will be held in New York City, Syracuse and Buffalo. They will be led by New York State Pay Equity Study Co-Chairs Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon.
"New York is the progressive leader of the nation, and we are committed to ensuring equal pay for equal work," Governor Cuomo said. “These hearings will help us identify strategies to close the wage gap in New York and support our efforts to make New York a more just and equal state for all."
Though New York’s wage gap is the lowest of any state in the nation according to federal data, women working in New York State earn 89 cents on average for every dollar earned by men. The wage gap is even greater for African-American women and Latinas, and pay inequity, regardless of ethnicity, is more severe in some upstate regions.
Governor Cuomo originally announced his intention to develop strategies to close the pay gap in New York State as part of his 2017 Excelsior Agenda. The Governor formally directed the Department of Labor to commence the study on April 4 – Equal Pay Day. Lieutenant Governor Hochul and Commissioner Reardon are tasked with submitting policy recommendations to close the wage gap by year’s end.
The dates and locations for the upcoming public hearings are as follows:
New York City: Monday, June 26 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Building, 163 West 125th Street, New York, NY
Syracuse: Tuesday, July 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Rosamond Gifford Zoo, One Conservation Place, Syracuse, NY
Buffalo: Wednesday, July 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Buffalo City Hall, Common Council Chambers, 65 Niagara Square, Buffalo, NY
Lieutenant Governor Hochul and Commissioner Reardon request that all delivered testimony be limited to five minutes and further ask that testimony be limited to detailing the causes of the wage gap and specific policy proposals to close it in New York State.
All written testimony should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org and should be limited to identifying specific causes of the gender wage gap and suggestions on ways in which the wage gap can be closed, either in its entirety, or in particular industries.
Lieutenant Governor Hochul and Commissioner Reardon will be joined on the panel by, among others:
Secretary of State
Department of Civil Service
Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
RoAnn M. Destito
Office of General Services
Director of Women's Affairs
Director of Latino Affairs
Director of Asian American Affairs
Governor's Office of Employee Relations
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, “It is shameful that 100 years after winning the right to vote, women remain relegated to second class status continuing to earn less than their male counterparts. While the wage gap is smaller in NYS compared with other states, this year our Department of Labor study will uncover the true reasons for the unequal treatment of women in the workplace ýand recommend reforms that will right this injustice.”
Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “The purpose of these hearings is not to determine whether a wage gap exists; we know that it does. What we need are concrete solutions and innovative steps we can take either as a state, or within particular industries, to end a clear societal injustice. Good ideas can come from anywhere, and I look forward to testimony from academic experts, businesses, and workers at these hearings.”
The Gender Pay Gap Study builds upon several of Governor Cuomo’s previous achievements with his New York Promise to Women agenda, including:
- Women’s Equality Act: Included the elimination of a loophole that allowed employers to prohibit employees from discussing their salaries under threat of termination or suspension.
- Executive Order #161: Prohibits state entities from evaluating prospective candidates based on prior wage history. In addition, an applicant’s prior compensation may not be relied upon in determining the prospective employee’s salary.
Executive Order #162: Requires state contractors to disclose gender, race, ethnicity and salary of all employees to drive transparency and progress toward wage equity