WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today is Latina Equal Pay Day — a holiday marking the day Latinas will have, on average, made the same amount of money since January 1, 2019 that white men made in the year 2019 alone. While the Trump administration has long been hostile to the needs of Latinx people, COVID-19 has only worsened the hardships many Latinas have been forced to face — receiving comparatively limited coronavirus relief funds and working on the frontlines of the pandemic without federal hazard pay.
“Latinas have been working on the frontlines since the start of the pandemic. But the Trump administration has offered them little support to weather the dual public health and economic crises,” said Jenna Kruse, Accountable.US spokesperson. “It’s long past time the president showed up for Latina business owners, workers, and their families who have been essential in keeping the economy afloat and who desperately need support.”
Some examples of the ways Trump and his administration failed Latinas — and the larger Latino community — since the start of the pandemic:
- JOBS: In May, unemployment for Latinas reached a distressing rate of 19% — exceeding the peak unemployment rate for Hispanics in the Great Recession of 2007-2009. And an Economic Policy Institute analysis found that almost half the population of Latina workers are employed in sectors hit hardest by COVID-19’s fallout in the first few months of the pandemic: hospitality, retail, and “other services.”
- HOSPITALIZATIONS & DEATHS: Latinx people are hospitalized and dying from COVID-19 at four times the rate of white people — and are likely being undercounted.
- WORK HAZARDS: Latinas make up a significant part of the workforce deemed “essential” — but despite increased health risks from continuing to show up for non-remote work amid the pandemic, the Trump administration has failed to offer federal hazard pay to help support Latina workers. Just today, news broke that health care workers — which includes 2.2 million Hispanics — are suing OSHA for failing to keep those in their field safe.
- SMALL BUSINESS AID: According to NBC News, “A survey of more than 500 Latino small-business owners who applied for coronavirus relief loans found that just 97 of them received money while the rest have never heard back on their applications.” And a recent Color of Change poll found that less than half of Latinx business owners believe their enterprises can last more than six months without additional relief funds.