Assemblymember McMahon’s Legislation Strengthens Equal Pay Laws, Combats Discrimination

Assemblymember Karen McMahon (D-Amherst/Pendleton) announced she introduced and passed legislation to help ensure that all New Yorkers receive equal pay for equal work (A.8093). The measure would prohibit differentials in pay based on factors including age, race, gender identity or expression, national origin and religion.

“Despite our existing employment discrimination statutes, pay disparity is still a significant issue facing many New Yorkers, depressing wages and inhibiting their ability to care for their families and save for the future,” McMahon said. “My legislation affirms that wage discrimination will not be tolerated in New York and ensures that every employee is paid what they deserve for the work that they do.”

McMahon’s legislation would expand existing equal pay provisions to require equal pay for substantially similar work. It would also prohibit pay differentials based on an individual’s membership in a protected class, including military status, family status and marital status, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, sexual orientation, and domestic violence victim status, as set forth in New York’s Human Rights Law. The measure would permit differential pay only when such pay is based on non-discriminatory factors such as a seniority merit system.

“Equal pay for equal work is not a new idea – it levels the playing field and is the right thing to do in order to achieve economic security for all New York families,” McMahon added.

McMahon has been a strong supporter of workers’ rights in the Assembly. Earlier this year, she helped pass legislation to prohibit all forms of discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace (A.5976) and helped protect employee’s religious freedoms by prohibiting employers from discriminating against them based on religious attire (A.4204).