Aileen Rizo: Blazing a Trail for Equal Pay
What would you do if you found out that your male co-worker made a lot more than you?
In in 2012, Aileen learned that her salary was lower than a co-worker with less experience and less education – based solely on her prior work history in a different state. For the past six years, she has worked tirelessly on the quest to make “Equal Pay for Equal Work” a reality.
Her landmark case raised the issue as to whether prior salary histories have perpetuated the gender pay gap.
Rizo resisted – and persisted – causing change to California’s Equal Pay laws and winning her federal case against her employer!
She’s become a familiar face in Sacramento, testifying in support of legislation that has been enacted to ensure that previous pay is no longer a determining factor when setting pay for a worker.
California is now one of six states to ban the use of salary history when negotiating a worker’s compensation.
Rizo’s lawsuit, Rizo v. Yovino, has led to a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals full hearing and decision in April that, under the Equal Pay Act of 1963, employers cannot pay women less than men just because of a previous job’s salary.
Her attorney in the federal lawsuit is Dan Siegel of Oakland and her case has received financial support from the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund.
As Rizo worked with advocates on the Sacramento legislation, she learned that her member of the Assembly consistently voted against the bills she was favoring.
She is now a candidate to replace him. Rizo’s story was featured on the New Republic blog July 19, 2018 and in the August issue of Harper’s Bazaar.
You can read more about her experience and court case at:
The AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund supported Rizo in her lawsuit.
If you’d like to support AAUW’s efforts to obtain equality for women & girls, you can donate to the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund at this link:
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a national organization that promotes equity for all women and girls, lifelong education, and positive societal change. Our commitment to these issues is reflected in our activism. Our branch has more than 90 active members; we meet regularly as a group for programs of common interest and also in smaller interest groups. Many lifelong friendships are forged through the activities of the branch.
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