County Legislator and 41st State Senate District candidate Sue Serino calls for strong support for legislation that ensure equal pay for equal work, an end to sexual harassment and stronger protection for victims of domestic violence.


Monday evening, the Women4Serino Committee hosted their latest bipartisan rally calling for equality for women and expressing their support for Dutchess County Legislator and 41st State Senate District candidate Sue Serino (R,C,I-Hyde Park).


The group, comprised of leading women from the fields of government, business, and education among others, called for passage of the Senate’s Women’s Equality Agenda, which includes critical legislation to ensure equal pay for equal work, protection for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, and an end to sexual harassment in the workplace. The Senate’s Women’s Equality Agenda was stonewalled this year by partisan politics in the state Assembly.

“The women of the Hudson Valley need a strong voice in state government, someone who truly knows their struggles and will fight for what's important to us and our community. Sue will be that voice, standing up for values like equal pay for equal work, an end to sexual harassment in the workplace, and stronger protections for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Women too often feel held back, unable to break through the glass ceiling. But by encouraging more women to serve in government, especially principled women like Sue Serino, we can not only crack the ceiling but shatter it for good. The Women4Serino committee isn’t a partisan group, it’s not about what’s left or right, it’s about doing what’s right for the community and helping to elect an amazing woman who will use her role as Senator to be a strong voice for the values of her constituents,” said Lydia Biskup, Women4Serino Chairwoman.


“The members of Women4Serino are local business owners, mothers, activists and elected officials who are truly making a difference and raising awareness about the issues that are important to Hudson Valley women and women across the state,” said Serino. “Albany politicians are holding back critical pieces of legislation that would provide the women of New York with the rights and support they deserve. This bitter partisanship is pitting women against each other and using political posturing to create so much noise that we are ultimately losing sight of what is truly important.


As women, it’s time we are recognized for our work with equal pay for equal work, better protection for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, and an end to sexual harassment. Terry Gipson and the New York City politicians continue to hold the women's equality agenda hostage for partisan political reasons. Hudson Valley women deserve better than a man who puts his own partisan politics above their best interests. That is why I’m running for New York State Senate, and that’s why, when elected, I will go to Albany and deliver for the women of the Hudson Valley.”


“It strikes me as odd that it is often only in government positions that women receive equal pay for equal work. The private sector needs to recognize the value and the talent women bring to the workforce and to compensate them as they do their male counterparts. As for sexual harassment, there is no room for it in any business, large or small. As a candidate, Sue Serino not only has the right idea about equality for women, she also has a plan to bring that equality into place," said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell.


“As a mother, sister, wife and daughter, women’s rights transcend party lines. In 1848, the women’s suffrage movement began in Seneca, Falls, NY, and since then, women’s rights have taken a back seat. We must make sure that New York remains, on the forefront of this very important issue. I have a beautiful 16 year old daughter, and I am very concerned about her future.  I want to make sure that the right protections are in place, such as Equal Pay, Stopping Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Stronger Protection against Domestic Violence and Order of Protections, Strengthening Human Trafficking Laws, which are universal rights, just to name a few. I know that Sue Serino will go to Albany and represent the right laws, and redefine the others that go against our values and principles,” said Dutchess County Legislator Gwen Johnson.


Earlier this year, Serino unveiled her plan to promote equality for women, which included a ten point agenda to empower women’s rights:


1) Strengthening laws that require equal pay for equal work by closing the loophole in New York’s equal pay law that allows employers to justify paying female employees less; outlawing workplace wage secrecy policies; and increasing damages available to a prevailing litigant.


2) Ending sexual harassment on the job by extending the prohibition on sexual harassment in the workplace to workplaces with fewer than four employees.


3) Allowing for attorney’s fees in employment, credit, and housing sex discrimination cases, and allowing litigants who win a sex discrimination suit to collect attorney’s fees.


4) Ending familial status discrimination by outlawing discrimination against parents in the workplace.


5) Ending discrimination in housing based on domestic violence victim status by prohibiting building owners, managers and leasing agents from refusing to lease or sell, or evicting a tenant because of their status as a domestic violence victim; and creating a task force to study the impact of discrimination based on source of income in housing, in particular discrimination against tenants receiving Section 8 rental assistance, with focus on any sex-based impact.


6) Ensuring that victims of domestic violence are not punished for “violating” their own Order of Protection, making revisions to the law that protects parties who file an order of protection from violating the order.


7) Creating a pilot program for remote access to Orders of Protection by creating a pilot program to allow domestic violence victims to testify remotely against their abuser.


8) Strengthening laws against human trafficking, by creating an affirmative defense to a prostitution charge if that individual was a trafficking victim; increasing penalties across the board for human trafficking and labor trafficking; creating new offenses, in increasing degrees, of aggravated patronizing a minor; and creating a civil action for victims of trafficking against their perpetrators.


9) Ending pregnancy discrimination by requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodation to pregnant workers.


10) Making childcare more affordable with a childcare tax credit for middle-class families.