Everything to Know About Latina Equal Pay Day
Today, October 29, is Latina Equal Pay Day, which marks how long into the year a Latina has to work in order to make as much as a white man made in the previous year. You read that correctly: A Latina has to work nearly 11 months into a second year to match her male counterpart's earnings in a single year.
Despite the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, American women are still struggling to overcome the persistent wage gap in this country. Women of all races are affected by the pay gap, but Latina women are at the bottom of the pay hierarchy. While white women make median weekly earnings of $835, Latina women make just $621. Latina Equal Pay Day is also the Equal Pay Day that falls latest in the year. For Asian American women, it was in February; for all women, it was in March; for Black women, it was in August; and for Native American women, it was October 1.
Stars like Diane Guerrero and Eva Longoria have come forward to help raise awareness to the wage gap in the United States. "The lack of awareness of the pay gap is frustrating, but misunderstandings about its causes are downright dangerous," Eva Longoria wrote in an essay for CNBC last year. "Nearly 30 percent of Americans believe the pay gap exists in part because Latinas simply choose lower-paying jobs, implying that Latinas ourselves can be blamed for the gap, according to [a LeanIn.org] study. This presumption is utterly untrue."
As Longoria noted, the pay gap persists even when you account for education, experience, and other factors. When you add in factors like inadequate parental leave policies and racism in the workplace, it's easy to see why the Latina pay gap continues to be so large.
In New York, the state government has implemented a couple of changes to help correct this problem. In 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to expand the definition of "equal pay for equal work" to require equal pay on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender. Earlier this year, a new salary history ban took effect. The law prohibits all employers from asking prospective or current employees about their salary history and compensation, and prohibits businesses from seeking similar information from other sources.
By the year 2060, 27 percent of women in the U.S. will be Latina. Change is hard, but it has to happen, and on Latina Equal Pay Day, we want to remind you to know your worth.
A version of this story originally ran in 2019.