April 4, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Directs State Labor Department to Launch Wage Gap Study and Proclaims April 4, 2017 as Equal Pay Day in New York

TOP Governor Cuomo Directs State Labor Department...

New York has Lowest Wage Gap of Any State in the Nation - Women in New York Make 89 Cents for Every Dollar Earned by Men
Study Will Offer Recommendations for Actions to Eliminate the Wage Gap in New York
Read the Proclamation Here


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today marked Equal Pay Day with a directive to the Department of Labor to study the causes, scope and economic impact of the gender pay gap in New York State and issue policy recommendations to help close it. The study will be co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon.

"New York leads the nation in progressive values – setting the bar high for other states to follow suit, and it is critical that we do all we can to address the wage gap in our country," Governor Cuomo said. "This wage gap study will ensure that we are evaluating every possible solution to ending this egregious inequity once and for all."

Women working in New York State earn 89 cents for every dollar earned by men – the lowest wage gap of any state in the nation according to federal data. The wage gap is even greater for African-American women and Latinas.

The state will accept written submissions and hold at least four public hearings, which will be announced soon, across the state to solicit testimony from academic experts, workers, business owners and others who wish to present solutions to end of the wage gap in New York State.

All written testimony should be submitted to [email protected] and must be received before June 1, 2017. Submissions 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.

To mark Equal Pay Day, State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon presented a proclamation from Governor Cuomo at a rally at City Hall in Manhattan. Equal Pay Day, observed nationwide, marks how far into the year women need to work in order to earn the same amount earned by men in the previous year.  

"As the state with the narrowest wage gap for its female workforce, New York is well positioned to eliminate the disparity altogether,” said Lieutenant Governor Hochul. “By studying the nature of the gap in the state, we will be able to further develop targeted, effective policies in response. I look forward to working closely with our partners in the Labor Department to ensure the success of this study."
Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "Governor Cuomo has consistently been a leader in the fight for women’s rights both here in New York and on the national stage. The Women’s Equality Agenda he championed was a tremendous first step, but the time has come to confront this issue once and for all.  It’s absurd that in this day and age, two equally qualified individuals would be paid differently for the same work based solely on gender."

Acting Civil Service Commissioner Lola W. Brabham said, "Today’s announcement builds upon Governor Cuomo’s legacy of standing up for women’s rights and expanding opportunity for all New Yorkers. This study will be integral in helping to close the pay gap between men and women once and for all, and will go a long way towards ensuring that every New Yorker is compensated fairly and equally based on the work they perform."

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 legislation that eliminated 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
Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office