Black or Latino employees of federal campaigns earn significantly less than their white counterparts, according to an investigation by the New Organizing Institute. Though the data can be murky and hard to comb through (the information is public, but many people earn money in bonuses or reimbursements that aren’t tracked), NOI’s investigation is a first-of-its kind look into how employees of federal campaigns are paid. For Democrats, the results are startling.
Though Republican campaigns tend to hire more white men, the investigation found a larger pay disparity based on race in Democratic campaigns. Black employees made about 30 cents less per white employee’s dollar, and Latinos earn 32 cents less. Gender wasn’t as big a factor in pay disparity, NOI found; women on Democratic campaigns lost out on just five cents on a man’s dollar.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that black and Latino employees are being paid less for the same work as their white counterparts. Most likely the disparity (which is smaller but still existent on Republicans campaigns) results from the fact that employees of color are more often hired for lower-paying jobs within the campaign — not the higher-up, more lucrative positions.
But such hiring problems and the resulting pay disparity is a sad fact of many workplaces, where people of color earn significantly less. The National Women’s Law Center this year found that black women earn 65 cents on a white man’s dollar, while Hispanic women earn a mere 54 cents. That’s a gap that’s worsening, as the previous year’s survey found black women earning 69 cents to a white man’s dollar.