Why the new overtime rule is so important for Latinas

OT-Map-FINAL-mediumMore than half the workers benefiting from the new overtime rule are women.   I venture to say that many of those, are minority women.  We also know, according to the Department of Labor that more than half of the individuals benefited by the law have at least a4-year college degree and many of them, ove 1.5 million, are parents.

Especifically in Georgia, the median salary for full-time Latinas is around $23,000, according to the 2015 National Partnership Report Latinas and the Wage Gap, meaning that thousands of those women will have more money for food, healthcare, and housing, traditionally, the areas in which Latinas spend.

Housing, a well known determinants for health and upward mobility is the largest single expenditure for low-income Latinas, perpetuating in a way, the current numbers that show that half of all Latinas in the US live nearly in poverty.  On average, Latinos spend 30% of all their income in housing costs.   An increase in income will likely provide some respite for hard working parents and their families.

A bit of extra income, may also provide many women with the freedom to choose to stay working when having children.   This was my experience when I had to decide if I should go back to work to a salary of $40K and pay daycare and after-care for my daughters.   The numbers just did not make sense and I made the decision to take start my own business where I could work from home.  The decision, came with a paycut of over 50% the first several years.  I would have been able to support my family if I had been on a single income… I was lucky to have a husband to allow me that flexibility.

I honestly do not know how would I have done it and I still do not know how many women making minimum wage or a low salary make it.

While the new overtime rules does not solve all the problems, the idea of receiving a compensation for overtime that will help pay for those overtime expenses (after-care, extended care, etc) is a sound decision that will benefit the ones that need it most and already suffer unequalities in so many areas:  Women.



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Gilda (Gigi) Pedraza

Executive Director and Founder Latino Community Fund (LCF Georgia) Social Entrepreneur, Community Advocate, Latina, Mom, Wife. Lover of Life.

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