‘Equal Pay Day’ raises awareness about the pay gap between genders

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Tuesday, April 2 marked what is known as “Equal Pay Day” – a day that “symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year,” according to the National Committee on Pay Equity.

Yana Rodgers with the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations says that women in the United States earn on average 80 percent of what men earn. She says that New Jersey has some startling statistics.

“New Jersey ranks dead last of all states in the country in terms of women’s relative earnings compared to men among Latinas,” she says. “We also do poorly for African-American women and white women.”

Rodgers says that one of the reasons for the salary difference is due to what she called the “mommy tax.”

“Women are effectively penalized for their relatively uneven caring work for children. Also now, the elderly,” she says.

But the Garden State is trying to close that earning gap.

“We have three very successful policy changes in New Jersey that support working parents,” Rodgers says, along with “a new pay equity law that is equal pay for jobs that are comparable in skills.”

Rodgers does suggest that more employers provide childcare on site or subsidies for child care.

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