It will take two centuries for the gender wage gap to close for Latinas if we do nothing

March 24 marked Equal Pay Day for all women. The day was officially established in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) as a symbolic representation of how far into this year women must work to catch up to what men made in the previous year. Women working full-time, year-round are typically paid just 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. That is just the statistic for women in general, but the gender wage gap is much wider for minority women, especially Latinas. 

Equal Pay Day

Women’s Equal Pay Day marks the day into the year on which it takes for women on average to earn what men did in 2020. (Source:

The gender wage gap for Latinas in the U.S. 

For Latina women in the U.S., Equal Pay Day is not until October 21 this year, meaning it will take until October 2021 for Latinas to have earned the same amount as white men did in 2020. To put it another way, a Latina woman must work 23 months to earn what white men earn in just 12 months

Latinas account for close to $1 trillion in US buying power, but earn on average only 55 cents to the dollar paid to white, non-hispanic men. Additionally, the pay gap widens for educated Latinas. Latinas are pursuing higher education more than ever before but education does not eliminate the pay gap. In fact, the gap is largest for Latinas with a bachelor’s degree, who earn 37% less than white men on average. 

Latinas Equal Pay Day, gender wage gap

Latinas are among the most adversely affected by the gender pay gap. They are paid just 55 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. (Source:

All around, Latinas tend to make less than everyone, with Latina Equal Pay Day being the last Equal Pay Day group celebrated each year.

If the gender pay gap does not improve, Latinx women have a lot to lose: $28,036 every year, and $1,121,440 over the course of a 40-year career. To catch up, Latinas in New Jersey and California would have to work until ages 115 and 114 respectively.

In twelve states – Alabama, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and Washington – Latinas lose more to the wage gap than they are paid in a year.

You might be interested: How Latinas Equal Pay Day 47 percent pay gap hurts big business

The states with the largest lifetime losses due to the wage gap include California ($1,708,160), Connecticut ($1,499,800), Illinois ($1,261,040), Maryland ($1,554,400), Massachusetts ($1,369,000), New Jersey ($1,760,840), Rhode Island ($1,196,360), Texas ($1,389,800), Washington ($1,300, 960), and Washington, D.C. ($1,953,000).

Closing the gap for an equal future 

The gender wage gap has narrowed slightly over time but only by a few pennies over several decades. Currently the average pay for women in general is 82 cents per dollar earned by a man. A decade ago in 2011, that number was 77 cents, and in 1996 when the first Equal Pay Day was established, the number was around 74 cents. If this trend continues, the wage gap will not close for another 38 years or until around 2059.

For Black women the date is over a century away. And for Hispanic women it will be over two centuries before the wage gap closes if we do nothing to change the trend. 

gender wage gap, Latina Equal Pay Day

Join leaders, advocates and influencers across the nation who are pledging to take action as champions of gender parity. (Source:

The first steps to closing the wage gap is to push for legislative action. The Paycheck Fairness Act is just one of many acts that will take important steps towards the goal of ending pay discrimination. For instance, it will ban employers from seeking salary history — removing a common false justification for under-paying women and people of color — and it will hold employers accountable who engage in systemic discrimination.  The bill will also work to ensure transparency and reporting of disparities in wages, because the problem will never be fixed if workers are kept in the dark about the fact that they are not being paid fairly.  

Raise the Wage Act is another legislative measure that will help close the wage gap in the long run. The Raise the Wage Act of 2021 would increase the minimum wage annually from its current level ($7.25) to $15 by 2025, after which the minimum wage would be indexed to median hourly wage growth. With Latinas overrepresented in low-wage work, the Raise the Wage Act would give 32% of working Latinas a significant raise. 

Resources for more information and further learning on the gender wage gap:

Covid19, poultry farms

Poultry farms and Latino workers at the forefront of COVID-19

When you are enjoying your barbecue chicken or chicken wings this Memorial Day weekend, take a few seconds to think who has made this possible for you. Latino workers employed at poultry farms are subject to discrimination, exploitation and marked wage discrepancies working in inhumane conditions. Now, they are suffering high impact COVID-19 contagion.

poultry farms

A report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at Covid-19 cases among US workers in 115 meat and poultry processing facilities across 19 states. It found that among approximately 130,000 workers at these facilities, there had been 4,913 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 20 deaths.The shocking videos released by Oxfam America about Latino workers’ exploitation at poultry farms all over the country may appear as a surprise for many Americans, but in reality this type of abuse has been going on for decades.

Latinos make up the majority of the labor force in the American meat industry. Most of these Hispanic workers are new immigrants afforded few job opportunities in rural America. They take on jobs Americans do not want –and work in beef, pork or poultry farms ranks as one of the least desirable jobs.

Working in poultry farms a dangerous proposition

The complete report reveals the inhumane conditions that Latinos are exposed to in poultry farms all over the USA. Conducted by Oxfam America, a global organization working to advocate against poverty, hunger, and injustice in over 90 countries, their researchers and reporters show the deplorable work conditions these unfortunate workers have had to endure on a daily basis over a 3-year period of investigative reporting.

Covid19, poultry farms

Tyson Foods installed protective plastic divisions between workers to prevent spread of coronavirus (Photo Courtesy Tyson Foods)


Working in the poultry industry is not only physically demanding but extremely dirty. There is risk of disease and injury; the environment is hot and humid and the stench is unbearable. Just imagine the amount of fecal waste produced daily by thousands of chickens.

What Latinos and other workers endure very day

Among other shocking details, the released video reveals workers at these plants wear diapers because they are not allowed to take bathroom breaks or have a law-mandated downtime to drink or eat. Many urinate and defecate while standing in the line and are not allowed to drink fluids despite working in unbearable hot environments.

Besides suffering humiliation, these workers are also susceptible to seriously health problems from inhalation of aerosolized bird fecal material and coming into contact with feathers. Most of them do not wear protective gear.

Poultry farms_chicken line

Many women also work in such environment and sadly, during their menstrual periods, are also denied the law-mandated breaks as supervisors are under constant pressure to maintain a certain speed of production.

Latinos interviewed for the report said that working at poultry farms was often life threatening, living in constant fear of losing their jobs, working while sick or injured or even with the threat of being turned onto immigration authorities.

Poultry farms take care of their chickens but don’t take care of their workers

Last week, John Tyson, chairman of the board with Tyson Foods Inc, took out a full page advertisement in the New York Times, The Washington Post and The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to express his concerns about the food supply chain: “Millions of animals – chickens, pigs and cattle – will be depopulated because of the closure of our processing facilities. The food supply chain is breaking,” he said. Mark Jordan, executive director of LEAP Market Analytics, said chicken production was currently 15% down while beef and pork had been affected even worse with production 30% lower. (Cited on

The poultry farms investigated in the report included Tyson foods, Perdue Farms, Sanderson farms and Pilgrim’s Pride. This industry made $32.7 billion in 2014 and each year the profits have been increasing. Yet little is spent on improving the working environment or offering health benefits to these workers.

Poultry farms_brands

“The top four companies produce hundreds of different products, and market under at least 30 different brand names. Perdue sells 213 poultry products under their Perdue brand. Tyson sells 97 products under their Tyson brand (and many more under other brands), Pilgrim’s sells 54, and Sanderson Farms sells 49 different products, “ the report says.

There are an estimated 300,000 Latino workers in 174 factories but documenting their background is difficult. In general most poultry farms workers are undocumented young male Latinos.

The majority of plant workers are non-unionized and many are totally unaware of US labor rights.

Other complaints noted direct discrimination, dead-end jobs with no improvement opportunities and lowest pay in the industry –often worse for undocumented workers and refugees. The majority of these workers are paid through a cash system and no health benefits are offered.

Despite these poultry farms workers suffer a number of injuries at work while hanging, cleaning and cutting the poultry, the majority had no sick days off or health benefits. The US Department of Labor officially classifies poultry as a “hazardous industry” and has calculated that poultry workers are injured five times more than workers in other industries.

Responsibility starts from the top down

Oxfam America’s report also revealed the abusive conditions in which these workers are not only granted no benefits but also are stripped of dignity through name calling, screaming and bullying by managers. Women also complained of sexual harassment from managers who do not take the complaints seriously or just tell them to leave.

Pultry farms carpal tunnel

Anecdotal reports of abusive behavior in the poultry industry have persisted by decades but so far the authorities have just turned a deaf ear –after all these are only “expendable” workers who can quickly be replaced.

The solution is not simple without comprehensive immigration reform and labor law enforcement. Large corporations hire these “invisible” undocumented workers, a condition that makes abuse and exploitation possible because these workers have no rights other than those of human decency.

So far, the Department of Labor at a federal level has not made any statements regarding these allegations but if past history is true then the trend will continue. This is not only a unique problem to the poultry industry as Latinos face abuse in many industries.

In 2009, the Department of Labor filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The federal department alleged that Tyson Foods did not keep accurate records and failed to pay production line employees for the time they spend donning and doffing safety and sanitary gear, and performing other related work activities. The violations covered the period from the year 2000 to the present and affect approximately 3,000 current and former workers at the plant.

The initial investigation began in April 2000 as part of the department’s Wage and Hour Division’s poultry enforcement initiative. The Labor Department filed the district court complaint in May 2002 following the company’s failure to comply with the law and to pay back wages. The first jury trial, which began in February 2009, ended in a mistrial. The Labor Department chose to pursue a second trial in August 2009 to secure a ruling that Tyson was failing to compensate its employees lawfully.

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At the time, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said, “This is a victory for workers, and the result of years of dedicated efforts to protecting the rights of working Americans on the part of attorneys, investigators and others within the Labor Department.”

(from Department of Labor Press release

unemployed workers

New Jersey is stepping up efforts for unemployed workers and freelancers

To better serve the unemployed workers hit by COVID-19 pandemic, New Jersey is stepping up its efforts by temporarily suspending the “work search requirement” for laid off workers and creating a jobs portal — — to match those who are looking for work with immediate openings in industries on the frontlines of the pandemic. Thousands of positions are available immediately throughout the state.

Apply online to the NJ Division of Unemployment Services

Meanwhile, a record 206,253* new unemployment claims were filed with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development for the week ending March 28, bringing the two-week total of new claims to just over 362,000, as COVID-19 bore down on the state’s workforce and businesses.

Initial claims for the week ending March 28 exceeded even those for the prior week, when 155,815 new claims were filed.

  • A breakdown of the claims that were processed March 15-28 shows the hardest-hit employees worked in food services/drinking establishments, with 16.5 percent of claims; ambulatory health care services (doctors’ and dentists’ offices), with 11 percent of claims; and administrative and support services, with 7 percent of claims.

“We know a lot of people are hurting, so we are grateful to announce that financial help is on the way for workers upended because of this public health crisis,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “These unemployed workers now have access to emergency paid leave to care for themselves or a loved one, they are in line for a $600 per week supplement to their unemployment benefit, and there’s a federal extension of unemployment benefits for 13 weeks.”

  • The $600 supplemental unemployment is expected to arrive beginning next week. It will be issued separately than regular unemployment benefits.
  • There’s a federal extension of unemployment benefits for 13 weeks, even for those whose claims have expired,
  • Unemployment benefits are becoming available for freelancers, gig workers and independent contractors, who typically are not eligible.
  • Additionally, applicants in New Jersey do not have a “waiting week” before benefits are paid once they are approved.

The Labor Department is awaiting federal guidance on determining eligibility for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and anticipates that guidance arriving soon.

Meanwhile, these unemployed workers should apply for unemployment insurance. The application likely will be denied, but that initial denial is a necessary step toward being able to collect the COVID-related benefit. Next, these workers should gather their past two years of tax returns, which will become necessary for their claim to be processed once federal rules are established.

Similarly, the state awaits word from the US Labor Department on who will be eligible for the 13-week extension of unemployment benefits under the CARES Act.

The data released Thursday by the US Department of Labor also indicates that nearly 156,000 residents are currently collecting unemployment, about 51,000 more than the prior week.

For national unemployment data, visit

For archived NJ claims data, visit

*This represents the final number for the week ended March 28. The number listed for NJ by US Department of Labor – 205,515 – is based on advanced reporting.

You might be interested: NJEDA announces new support to businesses impacted by COVID-19  

Latinas Equal Pay Day

How Latinas Equal Pay Day 47 percent pay gap hurts big business

Latinas Equal Pay Day is not a day of celebration but a day of action. Blog contributor Corine Sandifer covers thoroughly the facts on this important issue and the actions to be taken to close this 47% pay gap that hurts Latino families, and follow Latinas into retirement. Also, it hurts the general market as Latinas make 82% of household decisions -hence diminishing their opportunity for financial planning, sending their children to college and making other important purchases like homes purchases and health coverage. The gap also follows them into retirement. 

November 1 is a recognized day for women like me. It’s Latina Equal Pay Day. A day to bring awareness to this inequality in the U.S. As the host of Rising Stories Podcast and Regional Leader for Lean In Tennessee, I want to share some data today from Lean on the pay gap for Latina women and the implications it has had on our futures and our families. Please read the data, let it sink in and then read the call to action.

November 1 is Latina Equal Pay Day

Latinas have to work all of 2017 and until this DAY in 2018 to catch up with what white men earned in 2017 alone. Even when you take factors like education, experience, location, and occupation into account, a large part of the pay gap remains. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Latinas are paid less than white men in the same jobs. Latinas are paid $0.53 for every $1 that white men earn, leading to a pay gap for Latinas of 47%. To understand why the pay gap is a crucial issue for Latinas and families, it helps to understand how the pay gap is calculated. The pay gap is calculated by gathering the median annual earnings for full-time year-round workers and breaking it down by race-ethnicity for the given year. Then, the median annual earnings for Latinas are taken as a percentage of white male earnings.

47% counts for everyone

When Latina women are paid less it impacts their ability to buy groceries, pay for childcare, afford rent and tuition… all the costs that go into supporting a family. 47% counts for each and every Latina facing this pay gap but also for their families and dependents. Lower earnings for Latinas means less money for their families, especially since many Latinos are the main breadwinners for their household. 85% of Americans think it would be a major problem or crisis if they earned 40% less money. Yet compared to white men, Latinas face a larger pay gap every day. This amounts to over one million dollars lost over the course of a typical career. This also translates to nearly 4 years of groceries!


Latinas Equal Pay Day

Corine Sandifer Regional Leader Lean In Nashville/Tennessee, Rising Stories Podcast Host, Senior Coach

People are overly optimistic about the state of Latinas 

Over four in ten white men think obstacles to advancement for Latinas are gone, but just 32% of Latinas agree. Moreover, nearly 62% of people who are not Latino think that racism, sexism, or both are uncommon in their company. Yet 51% of Latinas say they’ve experienced discrimination at work taken from a Survey by SurveyMonkey conducted on March 22-27, 2018.

This reality is what Latina’s in the U.S. face every day, and it’s holding us back from reaching our highest ambitions and our toughest goals.

Is it because Latinas choose worse paying jobs? 

Many people think the gap exists because Latinas choose worse paying jobs. A third of Americans believe the gap occurs because Latinas work in occupations that don’t pay as much – and four in 10 white men think so. Only 20% of Latinos agree with that assessment yet when Latinas are in the same careers as white man they are paid significantly less. It is important to note that Latinas are overrepresented in low-wage jobs, and underrepresented in high-wage. What is frustrating for me is that they are still paid less than white men in the exact same jobs, even when they have high-wage jobs.

The Unfortunate Double Discrimination

Latinas face unique challenges in the workplace. They are subject to biases for being women and biases for being people of color. This kind of double discrimination can intensify common biases faced by Latinas, but it can also play out in distinct forms of bias not faced by women more broadly.

Latina Equal Pay Day

Corine Sandfers and her Latinas Lean group

Turn Awareness into Action

These stats are pretty upsetting. We cannot sit back and let this go unnoticed. Obviously, we still have a long way to go to close this wage gap for Latina women. There are ways for all of us (not just Latinas) to fight this wage gap. Here are just a few call to action provocations.

  • Many Equal Rights Advocates are taking the lead on implementation and enforcement efforts related to the Fair Pay Act. Find out who they are in your city.
  • Vote at this year’s election on November 6.
  • Tell your representatives in Congress to vote for legislation that will close the Latina Wage Gap.
  • Read and Share the & McKinsey annual study on Women in the Workplace
  • Support your Latina co-workers & friends (If you don’t have one, connect with me on LinkedIn or Instagram)

You can also turn awareness into action by joining a Lean In circle and taking strides toward a more equal world. Lean In Circles are small peer groups that meet regularly to share ideas, gain skills, seek advice, and show solidarity. They’re a place where women can be unapologetically ambitious. Being in a circle has allowed me to ask for what I want and to aim higher. I am supported by a whole world of powerful women.

You can join our circle here or by visiting Lean In org circles to find a circle and network near you.

This article was also published on LinkedIn On October 31. 2018

job interview bad references review your salary

4 Best sites to review your salary

You can review your salary in several sites that keep an accurate research on jobs nationwide. Unless you want to make a statement –or annoy a potential recruiter–, the internet and social media have changed the job landscape in ways ever imagined.

job interview bad references review your salary

You can now share a chat room with your potential recruiter, interview the prospect companies you are looking to work for, and even find out how much you can earn and review your salary on a particular job before you even apply for a job.

Until recently, discussing your salary with colleagues and co-workers was a no-no in the office. Although your right to discuss your salary with other people in the office is protected by the National Labor Relations Act, it can create friction and jealousy among co-workers. Sometimes, Latinas are more open to discuss certain issues than their Anglo colleagues are, so be aware!

However, you now have a chance to discuss salary and earning with other people in your same function or field on dedicated websites. According to Job Searching Expert Alison Doyle from About Careers, the best five sites for finding jobs and companies to recruit top talent which have revolutionized the job market are, of course, online. These sites also offer you the possibility of searching for salary ranges within your job level.

review your salary

“Glassdoor holds a growing database of 6 million company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, benefits reviews, office photos and more. Unlike other jobs sites, all of this information is entirely shared by those who know a company best — the employees. Add to that millions of the latest jobs — no other community allows you to see which employers are hiring, what it’s really like to work or interview there according to employees, and how much you could earn. Glassdoor is also available via its mobile app on iOS and Android platforms.”

See salary reviews review your salart

“Creator of the largest database of individual compensation profiles in the world containing more than 40 million salary profiles, PayScale, Inc. provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries to employees and employers through its online tools and software. PayScale’s products are powered by innovative algorithms that dynamically acquire, analyze and aggregate compensation information for millions of individuals in real-time. Publisher of the quarterly PayScale Index ™, PayScale’s subscription software products for employers include PayScale MarketRate™, PayScale Insight™, and PayScale Insight Expert™. PayScale’s cloud compensation software is used by more than 3,000 customers including Cummins, Warby Parker, Zendesk, Clemson University and Covenant Dove.”

See salary reviews review your salart

“ offers users a variety of tools such as; Personal Salary Report, Public Company Exec Data, Relocation, Job Search, and Continuing Education information to help users obtain salary and benefits information. offers a free and a paid Personal Salary Report. The paid Personal Salary Report includes a more comprehensive analysis of survey data while the Salary Wizard’s free answers offer no personal customization.”

See salary reviews review your salary

“As the world’s #1 job site, with over 140 million unique visitors every month from over 50 different countries, Indeed has become the catalyst for putting the world to work. Indeed is intensely passionate about delivering the right fit for every hire. Indeed helps companies of all sizes hire the best talent and offers the best opportunity for job seekers to get hired.”

See salary reviews

Elizabeth Warren MS US Senator family paid leave

A Mother’s Day paid family leave message resonates with working parents

Laws are not approved in a day, but we need to start the paid family leave conversation at a national level, and that means that each of us, working parents, working moms and just working people all around the country need to start the conversation in their own circles, with friends, families, colleagues, and co-workers, even with management at their jobs. Read what Elizabeth Warren, the senior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, posted this Mother’s Day as a message about paid family leave on Facebook:

Elizabeth Warren MS US Senator family leave

Elizabeth Warren MS US Senator

“I love all the Mother’s Day traditions — flowers, good smelling things, a handmade card. We’ve built a whole national holiday around doing something for mom.

“But if Mother’s Day is about doing something for all moms, then I think it’s time to focus on the things that would make a real difference. Here’s my list:

“1. A mom with a newborn baby should be able to take a little time off to care for her newborn without going bankrupt. The United States is one of only four countries in the entire world that does not guarantee paid leave to new parents. Private employers aren’t stepping up — only 12% offer paid family leave.

“2. A mom should be able to take off a little time when she’s sick — or take off a day when her child is sick — and not worry that she will lose her job or won’t be able to make the rent. 70 percent of low-wage workers don’t get a single paid sick day.

“3. A mom should have enough advance notice of her work schedule to plan childcare. Half of low-wage workers have little or no say over when they work, and 20 to 30 percent are in jobs where they can be called in to work at the last minute.

“OK, we can’t get Congress to vote today, but we can start pushing in that direction by making mom’s issues important to everyone who is in Congress. We can ask every candidate who wants our vote — Democrat, Republican, Independent — will you support paid family leave, paid sick leave, and schedules that work for all? We can raise these issues in line at the grocery store and sitting with other parents at the park. We can post about it. Every time we force this issue into the open, we honor the women in our lives.”   Elizabeth Warren on Facebook

Working Latinas and gender diversity in the workplace family leave

I did some research on the topic and found interesting information:

  1. Parental leave or family leave is an employee benefit available in almost all countries.
  2. The U.S. stands virtually alone in not mandating paid leave of any type for its workers. The United States has unpaid parental leave, available equally to mothers and fathers, mandated by law, while many other countries have paid maternity leave and a few have paid paternity leave.
  3. Approximately 185 countries in the world offer some type of legal protections for paid maternity leave. At least at the federal level, the United States is not one of them. With approximately 71 percent of all children in the U.S. living in a household where both parents work, it would seem that paid family leave is poised for expansion. Yet only a small percentage of the U.S. population has access to such wage replacement.
  4. Unpaid parental leave is provided when an employer is required to hold an employee’s job while that employee is taking care of a child.
  5. Paid parental leave provides paid time off work to care for a child or make arrangements for the child’s welfare. The funds are typically subsidized by higher paid workers, and sometimes by employers (such as in England).

What family leave laws protect working mothers and fathers in the USA?

It’s been 36 years since the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA), which protects against workplace discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, was enacted.

During that time frame, only two other Federal workplace discrimination laws that protect new and expecting parents have passed: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in 1993, and the Reasonable Break Time for Nursing Mothers’ Law in 2010. The FMLA allows both men and women to take an unpaid, 12-week leave of absence to care for a new child or a family member who is seriously ill. The nursing mothers’ law gives women time and access to a private room while on the job.

Who can take this family leave?

  1. Despite the FMLA’s wide-reaching influence, not all U.S. workers meet the law’s eligibility guidelines. The law is only applicable to employees who work for a company with 50 or more people, have been on the job for at least a year, and have worked a minimum of 1250 hours yearly—about 25 hours weekly.
  2. Roughly 60 percent of employees nationwide can qualify to take time off through FMLA, leaving 40 percent with no option of family leave. Most of the people who cannot access FMLA benefits are low-wage hourly employees.
  3. Nearly 80 percent of workers who do not take advantage of FMLA say it’s because they cannot afford the unpaid time off.
  4. Even so, nearly 50 million employees have used the FMLA for workplace leave since it was signed into law more than 20 years ago. Nearly one-fifth of those requests have been to care for a new child.

So do you think we have work to do?

As Senator Warren said in her message, we have work to do. Laws are not approved in a day, but we need to start the paid family leave conversation at a national level, and that means that each of us, working parents, working moms and just working people all around the country need to start the conversation in their own circles, with friends, families, colleagues, and co-workers, even with management at their jobs.

What can you do today to start the conversation? Did you take a paid/unpaid family leave for any reasons? What is your experience?


Materials for this post are quoted from the following websites:

185 countries guarantee paid family leave, the US isn’t one of them

Parental leave

Lots of other countries mandate paid leave


Further Reading

National Partnership for Women and Families. “Expecting Better: A State-by-State Analysis of Laws That Help New Parents.”

Center for American Progress. “Key Features of a Paid Family and Medical Leave Program that Meets the Needs of Working Families.”

Working Mother’s 2014 Best Companies.

Eileen Appelbaum & Ruth Milkman. “Leaves That Pay: Employer and Worker Experiences with Paid Family Leave in California.”

—. “Economics and Politics of Work-Family Policy: The Case for a State Family Leave Insurance Program.

—. Unfinished Business: Paid Family Leave in California and the Failure of U.S. Work-Family Policy.



CEO Jeff Smisek, United Airlines

A disturbing reality in corporate America, white collar crime rewarded

Walmart workers protest on Black Friday

Wal-Mart workers protest on Black Friday 2013 (Source: Huffington Post)

While the 2016 presidential campaign has set its tone on working class Americans’ vindications, the reality that white-collar crime is not only fine and doing well in America but continues to be rewarded continues to be disturbing for the regular citizen.

As much as we try to send a positive message from to the business community we belong to, and bring to the forefront the achievements and accomplishments of Latinas around the country, it wouldn’t be right to ignore the battle that many women workers –among which Latinas are a part of–are fighting for their rights in the workplace.

Some of these rights are basic to our condition of women –such as a paid maternity leave– while others we share with our male co-workers, the minimum wage, paid sick time to care for ourselves or others, and other basic rights that corporate America refuses to concede.

So when news such as the one I read this morning in The New York Times break up –and we hear this type of news almost daily–, we have no doubt that something is terribly wrong in working America.

“The chief executive and two senior officials of United Airlines resigned on Tuesday amid a federal investigation into whether the airline had traded favors with the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,” reports the daily paper.

Despite the political connotations of the case that links the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to presidential hopeful Gov. Chris Christie via his appointment of David Samson, and the Bridge Lane Closing scandal, the most disturbing information is the following passage:

United filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday indicating that Mr. [Jeff] Smisek would receive nearly $4.9 million in a separation payment, and 60,000 shares of stock, valued at over $3 million. It also said he had agreed to cooperate fully “in the defense, prosecution or conduct of any claims or investigations which relate to events or occurrences that transpired” while he was employed.”

As many workers, I was laid-off once from a job. The circumstances surrounding the pink slip were not related to any bribery or kickbacks I had negotiated on behalf of the company nor for misconduct of any kind but for reasons beyond my control. I was a contractor with the State of New Jersey and a new political troupe took the realm; they needed those 750 plus contract jobs to repay their political alliances, and I was one of them.

I had already started my business as a part-time activity and, despite the sense of vulnerability and uncertainty the unexpected action brought up, I saw the event as an opportunity to go full-time with my venture. It’s been 14 years and I thank them every day.

In those circumstances, I was never offered a separation payment, a share or a pension plan, or any type of compensation. Moreover, the State union refused to stand up for us –contractors– because most of us were in management. So you pick up your box and you go home.

CEO Jeff Smisek, United Airlines

CEO Jeff Smisek, United Airlines, steps down amid scandal with Port Authority of New Jersey and New York.

Mr. Smisek, however, will enjoy a good severance pay, shares and probably another opportunity someplace in corporate America. His agreement to cooperate fully with the investigation will probably be rewarded by dropping any bribery and kickbacks charges against him. The Department of Justice will mostly slap United on the wrist and charge them with some sort of settlement penalty –as they did during the bank and financial crisis– because they are “too big to fail.”

And there we go again, ladies and gents, another turn of the merry-go-round in corporate America, while working Americans see with despair their opportunities of holding a job, achieving higher education or raising a family continue to dilute.

So today we pledge to be part of an important effort to help working families, small businesses and women to achieve their labor rights by supporting and promoting voters’ registration and the right to vote. While many Americans in despair see little value to voting, we believe it is the only means we still have to defeat the powerful corruption rampant in the country.

So pledge with us, support our effort, let’s make this a journey together, for us and for our children, and for the opportunities this country still has to offer.