The opinions expressed in entries in the LC Blog are those of the author, not of Lawyers Club of San Diego.
While to many Labor Day signals the end of summer, to others it is about workers’ rights. A federal holiday since 1894, Labor Day recognizes that “[t]he vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known, and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pays tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.” (United State Department of Labor, Labor Day History).
Who is the American worker? Each of us is, and we have been toiling to create our own sense of prosperity and well-being for ourselves and our families. Unfortunately, that toil has not led to equal pay between men and women despite women being over 50% of the workers in the country. Asian women and men workers earn more than everyone. Caucasian are the second highest wage earners with African Americans and Latinx workers in third and fourth place, respectively. Delving deeper, the most recent statistics show that in 2018 the median weekly salary for women lawyers was $1,762 and for men it was $2,202. In other words, women lawyers earned 80% of a men’s salary.
On this Labor Day holiday, commit to fighting for women’s workplace equality, and maybe in the not so distant future, the salary gap will be zero.
Yahairah Aristy is a Deputy Public Defender, and is the 2020-2021 president of Lawyers Club of San Diego.