Calls on Assembly to pass nine individual planks of women's equality act
Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-C-I-Lewiston, is the primary Assembly sponsor of stand-alone legislation designed to strengthen equal pay provisions for women in the workplace. As the primary sponsor of the equal pay bill in the Assembly, Ceretto will be working diligently to push this legislation through the Assembly and the Senate and onto the governor's desk to be signed.
This legislation is part of a package of nine bills that protect women from discrimination in the workforce, extend domestic protections, and toughen laws against sexual harassment and sex trafficking. Ceretto supports all nine of the bills and is calling on the Assembly to bring them up individually for a vote.
Ceretto said Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Assembly Majority have insisted these nine bills be grouped together with a 10th bill, which would expand abortion up to the ninth month and allow non-doctors to perform them, putting the health of the woman at serious risk. Ceretto voted against the Assembly package because of the inclusion of late-term abortion expansion. The Senate, on the other hand, has passed the nine points, minus the abortion expansion, individually. This technicality has prevented any legislation from reaching the governor's desk.
"For every $1 in pay a man makes, a woman earns only 77 cents. This puts working women at a disadvantage and it must be fixed. While women have made a lot of progress since the first women's rights convention was held here in upstate New York, there are still issues that need to be addressed," Ceretto said. "I will be working closely with the governor and legislative leaders to pass substantive women's rights legislation that can pass in both houses."
Ceretto's equal pay legislation would, if passed, prevent employers from paying two employees different pay rates on the basis of gender. Employers found to be violating this law would have their damages increased to 300 percent of the wages due, ensuring justice for working women who are discriminated against.
"Once again, the Assembly is playing games with nine important women's rights measures that passed the Senate. They tried to group these nine measures together with a controversial late-term abortion expansion provision that would increase New York's tragic lead in abortions across the country," Ceretto said. "Let's not hold nine bills with near universal backing hostage to a bill that does not have support in the Senate. Speaker Silver needs to stop playing politics and allow a vote on these bills individually so women can get the protections they need and deserve."