This Note proposes an ERA for New York’s constitution to end the wage gap between men and women, and uses language from H.J. Res 52 and S.B. No. 1919. To demonstrate why New York needs the amendment, this Note will discuss Maryland’s and California’s ERAs and equal pay laws to establish the benefits of an ERA and how both ERAs and equal pay laws, together, help shrink the wage gap in those states. With an ERA, New York’s courts will analyze sex-based discrimination claims with strict scrutiny, which provides heightened protection because women will be considered a suspect class.
Section II provides background information on the original federal ERA and legislation; California equal pay laws and statistics; Maryland equal pay laws and statistics; and finally, New York equal pay laws and statistics. Section III discusses S.B. No. 1919 and critiques its language and adds language from H.J. Res. 52 to compose a draft ERA. It also explains the strict scrutiny analysis used in sex-based discrimination claims in states with ERAs. A constitutional claim provides an alternate route for women who suffer from gender pay inequality in a more plaintifffriendly environment. Maryland and California are better able to protect their citizens against workplace discrimination with an ERA. Thus, an ERA is beneficial because women desperately need the strict scrutiny analysis to end the wage gap.