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Yes, wage gap does have big impact on Latina workers
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Groups analyzed the numbers and came up with the same figure.
That means the average Latina would need to work until Dec. 8 to make the amount an average white male made the previous year.
The "Equal Pay for Equal Work" movement dates back to the 1860s, and more than a 150 years later gender-based pay disparity is still an issue in the U.S. workforce.
A Wisconsin lawmaker, Democrat U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, moved the issue from the back to the front burner with a Dec. 8 statement on Twitter.
"On Latina Equal Pay Day, we bring attention to the fact that Latina workers make 54 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. It’s past time that Latina workers are given equal pay for equal work."
Is it true that Latina workers make 54 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men?
Let’s take a look.
When asked to back up the statement, Baldwin’s staff pointed to data compiled by Equal Rights Advocates, a nonprofit organization founded in 1974 that focuses on women’s rights and "gender justice."
Equal Pay Today, a project of the group, observes Equal Pay Days in the United States. These days mark how far into the next year women of different ethnicities must work to earn as much as their white, male co-workers, according to the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
This year, for Latinas, the pay gap indeed was 54 cents on the dollar, and the day fell on Dec. 8. The date, which differs by ethnicity, represents the symbolic day into the year women must work to be paid what men were paid the previous year, according to the association.
The averages were based on median earnings for full- and part-time workers. The analysis, according to the advocates, was based on 2021 American Community Survey data, compiled by the Census Bureau.
"For the first time, these calculations (54 cents) include migrant and seasonal workers who tirelessly perform the agricultural duties that put food on our tables," according to a statement on the equal pay advocates site. "Regardless of the type of job, the place of employment, or the level of education, the data is clear — there is a wage gap impacting women workers at every level."
On average, women are paid 83 cents per $1, and the "equal pay" date is March 15 of the following year, according to an opinion piece that ran in USA Today by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Charlotte A. Burrows.
Meanwhile, the AAUW found these breakdowns for other groups:
Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Women’s Equal Pay Day is May 3. Women in this group are paid 75 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is Sept. 21. Black women are paid 58 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
Native Women’s Equal Pay Day is Nov. 30. Native women are paid 51 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
A similar analysis by the National Women’s Law Center mirrored the data on Latina wage gaps.
"In 2021, the most recent data available, Latinas working full time, year round were typically paid just 57 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.This gap in pay typically amounts to a loss of $2,477 every month, $29,724 every year, and $1,188,960 over a 40-year career," the Law Center said.
According to the Law Center, when part-time and part-year workers are included in the comparison, Latinas were typically paid 54 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men in 2021.
According to the Law Center, the wage gap varies widely, and women of many Latina communities in the U.S. experience even larger gaps.
"For example, Honduran women make 44 cents, Guatemalan women make 47 cents, and Salvadoran women make 49 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men," the Law Center said.
There is one factor that is important to keep in mind.
As PolitiFact National, which has reviewed numerous pay-gap claims over the years, has noted: "a speaker’s choice of words can significantly affect whether their point about the gender pay gap is right or wrong."
Our national colleagues point out that women on average certainly do make less than men.
However, the government data isn’t based on men and women doing the same jobs. Rather, it’s an average that widens or closes by factors such as race, job type and age. Research suggests women are overrepresented in jobs that tend to pay less, for a variety of reasons.
In Wisconsin, Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera, an immigrant rights group, said Latina women are often more vulnerable to exploitation because of their immigration status and the fear of deportation and the impact on their families.
"Latina women work at the intersection of workplace discrimination, as women, Latinas, and some as immigrants," Neumann-Ortiz said in an email to PolitiFact Wisconsin.
She noted that Latinas are concentrated in low-wage industries like service; domestic work; child care and home health care; and agriculture.
"The pandemic has made those inequalities greater because, in general, Latinas have less access to paid sick days or health care and carry a greater responsibility for child care and elder care that is hard when employers are not flexible," Neumann-Ortiz said.
Baldwin said "Latina workers make 54 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men."
Two organizations looked at the data, and both reached the same figure.
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Twitter, Dec. 8, 2022
Email, Baldwin’s communications staff, Dec. 12, 2022.
Email, Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera, Dec. 13, 2022
Equal Rights Advocates "Uplifting Latina Workers for Latina Equal Pay Day," Dec. 6, 2022
National Women’s Law Center "Latinas Lose Nearly $1.2 Million to the Sexist and Racist Wage Gap" November 2022
U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, news release, Dec. 8, 2022
Equal Pay Today "Equal Pay Days 2022"
PolitiFact "What is the pay gap between men and women?" Dec. 23, 2019.
American Association of University Women (AAUW) "Equal Pay Day Calendar"
USA Today "Women still earn 83 cents on the dollar compared with men. Let's fix that," March 15, 2022.
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Yes, wage gap does have big impact on Latina workers
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