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Hispanic Caucus Latina Members Call for Closing Wage Gap

Dec 15, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Latina members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) released the following statements in observance of Latina Equal Pay Day, which raises awareness about the stark wage gap faced by Latina workers. For each dollar that their white male counterparts earn, Latinas are paid only 54 cents, leading to an estimated cumulative loss of around $1 million in potential income per Latina over a 40-year period. Latinas face the largest wage gap among all racial and ethnic groups.

Latina Equal Pay Day is observed on November 1 as that is the approximate date by which a Latina’s pay would have caught up with that of white non-Hispanic men from the previous year. It takes the average Latina 22 months to earn the same amount that an average white man earns in 12 months.

CHC Chairwoman Linda T. Sánchez: “As we recognize Latina Equal Pay Day 2016, it is unconscionable that Latinas still face such an income disparity in our country. We need to do better. The Latina wage gap has serious implications on our nation’s economic future. Latinos are expected to be a third of our nation’s population by 2050, and the success of our country depends on the success of the Latino community. More money in the pocket of all women, particularly Latina women, would provide a boost to our national economy since they are the ones usually controlling the purse strings of their families.”

CHC First Vice Chair Michelle Lujan Grisham: “The wage gap is especially prevalent in New Mexico where 48 percent of the population is Hispanic,” Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “We are proud that Latinas make up a large portion of the workforce; many others are entrepreneurs and small-business owners. But until we have equal pay for the same work, these inequities depress our economy and unfairly limit the potential for Latinas to succeed in their chosen careers.”

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard: “On Latina Equal Pay Day, we recommit to fighting for a future where Latinas finally earn the equal pay they deserve.  It is unconscionable that Latinas earn just 54 cents for each dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.  This reality dishonors the diligent and tireless work of Latinas in every area of our workforce.  For the sake of our hardworking Latina sisters, Congress must pass bills such as the Paycheck Fairness Act to close this massive pay gap.  Only then will Latinas begin to be treated as the valued and respected workers they are.”

Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez: “The wage gap between Latina workers and white males is egregious and unacceptable. This is a basic matter of social justice and economic empowerment that we have a moral obligation, as a nation, to address. We cannot rest until this disparity is corrected and Latina workers are fairly compensated.”

Congresswoman Grace Napolitano: “Latina Equal Pay Day is not a celebration but a call to action. It is embarrassing that in 2016 Latinas on average make nearly half as much as white non-Hispanic men for the same work. What kind of example are we setting for the next generation of Latinas who are planning their futures? This disparity of wages devastates families, hurts career prospects, and lowers the morale of so many Latinas who are underpaid in this country. I am proud to join my fellow Latinas in the Hispanic Caucus and all Democrats fighting to close the wage gap, so we can finally deliver equal pay for equal work for all. We can and must do better.”

Congresswoman Norma Torres: “Latinas lose out on over one million dollars over the course of a forty year career due to the wage gap.  This is money that can go toward putting food on the table, paying for our kids’ college, or advancing our own education and careers.  Closing the wage gap is about more than helping Latinas succeed.  It is essential to helping our families achieve the American Dream and ultimately creating a more prosperous future for all Americans.”

 

 

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The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.