Bill Would Require State Contractors to Publicly Report Their Wage Gap
Hoylman: “When It Comes To Closing The Wage Gap, Sunlight Is The Best Disinfectant.”
Glick: “It Is In The Interest Of New York State To Use Our Contracting Authority To Shine A Spot Light On Wage Disparities”
Manhattan, NY – Today, during a press conference at the site of the historic Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Deborah Glick announced legislation to combat wage discrimination in New York State. The bill would require any company seeking a contract or doing business with the state to publicly report their wage gap based on gender, race and ethnicity.
By establishing categorical disclosure of employee compensation as a condition for winning state contracts, the legislation, which is similar to rules already governing federal contractors, incentivizes companies to take steps internally to address gender-based income inequality and establish equitable pay practices throughout the state.
Senator Brad Hoylman said: “When it comes to closing the gender wage gap, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Wage discrimination is unacceptable – plain and simple – and sends a message that women are worth less than men. Disclosure will help incentivize companies that do business with New York to take steps to close their wage gap and, in the process, ensure that equal pay for equal work prevails in the Empire State.”
Assemblymember Deborah Glick said: “If we are going to confront and remedy gender-based wage disparities, it is crucial to have accurate information. It is in the interest of New York State for us to use our contracting authority to shine a spot light on those disparities as a way of erasing them.”
NYC Public Advocate Letitia James said: "We still have a long way to go in our fight to secure equal pay for equal work. This legislation will provide the transparency and accountability we deserve from companies receiving taxpayer dollars. I thank Senator Hoylman and Assembly Member Glick for their leadership in closing New York's gender pay gap."
James Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist of the Fiscal Policy Institute, said: "Achieving pay equity is an important and long-standing New York and national policy goal. This proposed legislation is a helpful step toward that goal. Our economy will function better, not to mention being more fair, if all workers performing comparable work are paid on a comparable basis, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender."
Even when controlling for education, race, and age, women who work full time are paid just 78 cents for every dollar men make on average. New York performs only slightly better than the national average -- 86 cents for every dollar.
According to a recent study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the wage gap – the difference between the average wages of male and female employees holding similar positions – will not close until at least 2058. Significantly, women of color face even greater wage inequality, with African American and Hispanic women making just 64 and 55 cents to every dollar a white man makes, respectively.
Sonia Ossorio, President of National Organization for Women-New York State said: "New York should require of its business partners and vendors the same as the federal government by requiring them to provide data on compensation by gender, race, and ethnicity. This type of transparency and accountability can lead to real progress."
Brette McSweeney, Executive Director of Eleanor's Legacy, said: "What gets measured, matters. And it matters that women are paid equally. Thanks to the leadership of Assemblymember Glick and Senator Hoylman, our government will require wage transparency from state government contractors. Sunshine is the best disinfectant and this is an important step to ending unequal pay which continues to plague working women and their families 50 years after President Kennedy past the Equal Pay Act."
Beverly Neufeld, President of PowHer New York, said: "Public demand for concrete solutions to end persistent wage inequities was reflected in this year’s bi-partisan, unanimous passage of New York’s equal pay bill. Government owes the taxpayers no less than to ensure public funds go to companies with equitable wage practices, which this bill helps to accomplish through accountability and transparency. We applaud Senator Hoylman and Assembly member Glick for this sensible and effective approach to promote wage equality in New York State contracts.”
FACTS ABOUT THE BILL:
Companies that want to bid on contracts with New York State will be required to submit equal pay reports as a condition to winning a bid. The equal pay reports will use the same nine occupational categories that are used in federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission forms (EEO-1).
The EEOC classifies jobs in nine broad categories including “official and managers,” “professional workers,” “laborers,” and “service workers.” Employers with 100 or more employees are already required to file these forms, meaning they should already have this information easily accessible. Within each occupational category, employers will provide the number of employees by gender, race, and ethnicity, and calculate the wage gaps in each category.
The wage gaps are calculated based on average hourly wage, and will be reported as a percentage difference.
The equal pay reports will be publicly available. To protect employee privacy and proprietary information, the reports will not include actual individual compensation, total number of hours worked, or mean hourly wages.
Small businesses (those with fewer than 100 employees) will be exempted from this requirement.