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JOINT RELEASE:Latina Legislators Recognize Latina Equal Pay Day

DENVER, CO – Today, women members of the Colorado Democratic Latino Caucus released the following statements recognizing Latina Equal Pay Day, which occurs each year on the day when Latina pay catches up to that of white, non-Hispanic men from the previous year. 

“The fact that a Latina woman must work twenty-two months to earn what her white male counterpart earns in twelve is simply egregious,” said Senator Julie Gonzales (D-Denver). “That means that Latinas work longer hours than everyone else, a disparity that not only hurts Latinas, but our families and communities as well. For that reason, addressing systemic inequality by advancing policies that build opportunity and success will continue to be a focus for me and all the Colorado Senate Democrats in our upcoming legislative session.”

“Colorado has taken strides to close the pay gap for women, but Latina women still earn less or have to work harder to earn the same as their white male colleagues,” said Representative Serena Gonzales Gutierrez (D-Denver), a sponsor of SB19-085. “The pay gap for Latinas hurts Colorado families, makes it harder for our state to recover from the pandemic and perpetuates racial disparities in Colorado that have lasting consequences. Latinas were some of the hardest hit by the pandemic, leaving the workforce at a higher rate, while also seeing a slower recovery. We must forge an inclusive economic recovery that boosts all Colorado communities and break down the longstanding inequities and racial disparities that sustain the pay gap.”

“With the passage of Colorado’s Equal Pay Act, we're working to close the wage gap for women across our state,” said Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis (D-Boulder County). "The pay gap for Latina women is exceptionally large at only 57 cents for every dollar a man earns. Every woman, no matter the color of her skin, should be able to earn the same amount of money for doing the same work, and we won’t stop our efforts until that is a reality here in Colorado.” 

“As we near the end of October, we have reached the point of the year when Latina pay catches up to that of white men from the previous year,” said Representative Monica Duran (D-Wheat Ridge), Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus of Colorado. “This results in huge individual losses for Latinas and their families and takes a toll on our economy as well. While we’ve made some progress on equal pay in Colorado, our work is far from over. I’m eager to continue working to create a more just economy where all women have the opportunity to thrive in the workplace and get fair pay for their hard work.” 

On average, Latina women earn just 57 cents on every dollar a white man earns, and have to work 22 months to earn what white men earn in 12 months. In other words, it takes 659 days for Latina women to earn what a white man earns in 365 days. Today, October 21, is the last equal pay day of the year, which means that Latina women have to work longer than everyone else to catch up.

In 2019, the legislature passed the Equal Pay For Equal Work Act to ensure pay equity between men and women in Colorado. The law, which became effective in January 2021, also requires that companies post internal advancement opportunities and creates a mechanism for people to file complaints with the state if they believe they are being underpaid because of their gender.