Has this ever happened to you?
You apply for a job and learn you must share your salary history. What might seem like an innocent request is just one more reason why women and people of color often don’t receive equal pay.
Too many employers base salary offers on a candidate’s previous pay — which is often lower for women compared to their male counterparts because of the wage gap. So even if a woman leaves a job because she’s being paid unfairly, that lower salary will continue to haunt her in her new job. And over time, those lower salaries add up to huge losses that affect her family’s financial well-being and ultimately her retirement.
That’s why Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, along with other equal pay champions in the House, just introduced a bill that would kick this outdated practice to the curb once and for all.
This commonsense bill would prohibit employers from asking job candidates about salary history. The bill would authorize the Department of Labor to fine employers who violate the law. Prospective or current employees would also be able to sue an employer who violated the law and obtain damages.
Women and people of color are losing monumental amounts of money because of unfair pay practices that result in pay discrimination following them from job to job. While stopping employers from asking about salary history won’t completely close the wage gap, it’s a huge step in the right direction. And since the wage gap has barely budged in more than a decade, we need to do everything we can to close it.
Thank you for joining us and continuing to fight for equal pay.
1700 – The Pacific Island Edit Edit date and timeof New Britain was discovered.
1801 – The city of Washington, DC, was placed under congressional jurisdiction.
1827 – New Orleans held its first Mardi Gras celebration.
1861 – In Warsaw, Russian troops fired on a crowd protesting Russian rule over Poland. Five protesting marchers were killed in the incident.
1867 – Dr. William G. Bonwill invented the dental mallet.
1883 – Oscar Hammerstein patented the first cigar-rolling machine.
1896 – The “Charlotte Observer” published a picture of an X-ray photograph made by Dr. H.L. Smith. The photograph showed a perfect picture of all the bones of a hand and a bullet that Smith had placed between the third and fourth fingers in the palm.
1900 – In South Africa, the British received an unconditional surrender from Boer Gen. Piet Cronje at Paardeberg.
1922 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 19th Amendment that guaranteed women the right to vote.
1933 – The Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building in Berlin, was set afire. The Nazis accused Communist for the fire.
1939 – The U.S. Supreme Court outlawed sit-down strikes.
1949 – Chaim Weizmann became the first Israeli president.
1972 – The Shanghai Communique was issued by U.S. President Nixon and Chinese Premier Chou En-lai.
1973 – The American Indian Movement occupied Wounded Knee in South Dakota.
1974 – “People” magazine was first issued by Time-Life (later known as Time-Warner).
1981 – Chrysler Corporation was granted an additional $400 million in federal loan guarantees. Chrysler had posted a loss of $1.7 billion in 1980.
1982 – Wayne B. Williams was convicted of murdering two of the 28 black children and young adults whose bodies were found in Atlanta, GA, over a two-year period.
1986 – The U.S. Senate approved the telecast of its debates on a trial basis.
1990 – The Exxon Corporation and Exxon Shipping were indicted on five criminal counts in reference to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.
1991 – U.S. President George H.W. Bush announced live on television that “Kuwait is liberated.”
1997 – In Ireland, divorce became legal.
1997 – Don Cornelius received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1998 – Britain’s House of Lords agreed to give a monarch’s first-born daughter the same claim to the throne as any first-born son. This was the end to 1,000 years of male preference.
1999 – Colin Prescot and Andy Elson set a new hot air balloon endurance record when they had been aloft for 233 hours and 55 minutes. The two were in the process of trying to circumnavigate the Earth.
1999 – Nigeria returned to civilian rule when Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo became the country’s first elected president since August of 1983.
2002 – In Boston, twenty people working at Logan International Airport were charged with lying to get their jobs or security badges.
For months, Trayon Christian — a 19-year-old Black college student from Queens — set aside money from a part-time job to buy a $349 designer belt from Barneys New York.1 But in April, as he exited the luxury department store with both the belt and his receipt he was swarmed by undercover cops, peppered with questions, handcuffed and locked in a jail cell.2 While providing several forms of identification to match his debit card, police taunted Trayon with questions like “How could you afford a belt like this?” “Where did you get this money from?”3
Barneys issued a vague statement, disclaiming responsibility for Trayon’s arrest, but more than 47 arrests have been made outside of the Madison Ave. store — hinting at the possibility of a dedicated NYPD task force.4 The public has a right to know the racial breakdown of the suspects arrested, how many were actually charged with a crime, and what role the luxury department store played in these arrests.
Join us in demanding that the NYPD immediately conduct a full investigation of the arrests made outside of Barneys. We’ll also send this message to senior executives at Barneys to remind them that the practice of profiling Black customers is unacceptable. It only takes a moment.
Clearly Trayon isn’t the only Black person who has been stopped by NYPD after an expensive purchase at this particular store. Just a day after Trayon filed his complaint, 21-year-old Kayla Phillips has come forward and claims that she too was surrounded by undercover cops just blocks from the Manhattan store who pushed her up against the wall after she purchased a designer handbag with her debit card.5
Unfortunately Black folks are too often subjected to this brand of deeply offensive and humiliating treatment by security guards and police officers at the businesses we patronize. And in recent years, the NYPD has become notorious for targeting Black and Latino residents — subjecting our communities to thousands of illegal stops, searches, and frisks each day that lead to unlawful arrests, constant harassment, and in some cases, serious injury or death.6,7
Enough is enough. In order to end the culture of police misconduct and racial profiling we must demand accountability for these discriminatory practices. Will you sign this petition today and forward it to your family and friends?
Thanks and Peace,
–Rashad, Arisha, Matt, Aimée, William, Hannah and the rest of the ColorOfChange team. October 25th, 2013
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1. “Barneys accused teen of using fake debit card for $349 belt because he’s a ‘young black American male’:lawsuit,” New York Daily News, 10-22-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3044?t=7&akid=3175.1689899.3LyxQO
2. “Trayon Christian Complaint,” New York City Clerk, 10-21-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3045?t=9&akid=3175.1689899.3LyxQO
3.See Reference 1
4. “Another black Barneys shopper accused of credit card fraud after buying $2,500 purse: claim,” New York Daily News, 08-10-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3046?t=12&akid=3175.1689899.3LyxQO
5.See Reference 4
6. “Judge approves class action lawsuit over NYPD’s stop-and-frisk searches,” The Raw Story, 05-16-12 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/1636?t=14&akid=3175.1689899.3LyxQO
7. “After Detective’s Firing, Tensions Linger in Sean Bell Case,” New York Times, 03-25-12 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3047?t=16&akid=3175.1689899.3LyxQO