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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about the Gender Pay Equity Initiative.

Revised: March 2, 2020

What is the City of Albuquerque Pay Equity Initiative?

The Initiative is a set of rules for contracting with the City, requiring reporting of pay scales by gender and job category for entities seeking city contracts. The Initiative also provides for a 5 percent preference for those companies with gender pay gaps of 7 percent or less overall, and further provides for recognition of leadership in pay equity.

Why do we need it?

The pay gap between working women and men in the U.S. continues to be one of the highest ranking concerns for women. It is also a priority for men, because when one earner in a family brings in less than she should, the family suffers overall. Though "equal pay for equal work" has been the law since 1963, disparities in pay between men and women for full time, year round workers are not lessening substantially, and cannot be expected to go away naturally (after all, it's already been 52 years).

New Mexico now ranks 15th in the U.S. for women's pay equity. However, there is still a lot of work left to guarantee that women receive the same pay for doing the same work as men. Women in New Mexico are paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to a yearly gap of $8,789 between full time working men and women in the state. Women of color experience even greater disparities, with African American women earning just 69 cents for every dollar paid to men, and Hispanic women being paid just 66 cents for every dollar paid to men in New Mexico. Nationwide, for Native American women the percentage is a lowly 60 cents.

Federal law prohibits pay discrimination as do several New Mexico laws, including the New Mexico Equal Rights Amendment, New Mexico Human Rights Act, and the New Mexico Fair Pay for Women Act. This initiative will identify wage discrepancies and will aim to address and close them before they get worse.

What does a 5 percent preference mean?

The preference is only available for Request for Proposals (RFPs) and Request for Bids (RFBs). When these competitive bids are evaluated for awarding a contract, companies meeting the standard for pay equity will be given an additional 5 percent bonus in their score. (Note: all combined preferences such as small business, veteran's, and pay equity cannot exceed 10 percent overall.)

If the goal is to eliminate pay gaps, why allow a 7 percent discrepancy in competitive bids? Isn't that just saying 7 percent is an acceptable level of discrimination?

No. Often times there are legitimate factors which account for wage gaps, such as education, experience, time on the job, and other factors. That being said, there is no acceptable level of discrimination on the basis of gender. The average pay gap between women and men working full time, year round is 21 percent in New Mexico, and some of the data already submitted by Albuquerque contractors show pay gaps of up to 40 percent. for the first full year of implementation, a discrepancy of 10 percent was allowed on competitive bids (RFP and RFP) as a phase-in for contractors. it has recently been tightened to 7 percent. Given these statistics, allowing a variance of only seven percent is still a very high bar.

The goal of the Initiative is to incentivize companies that are lagging to improve. a zero tolerance policy in the early stages would only discourage companies from making any effort at all, since many are far away from that goal. As companies improve and pay gaps narrow, the cutoff for the preference may be revised further.

Are all entities seeking City contracts subject to the requirements of the initiative?

Yes, all private contractors must provide a City of Albuquerque Pay Equity Reporting Form.

Additionally, all bidders for RFPs and RFBs are required to submit a City of Albuquerque Pay Equity Reporting Form. The electronic report is generated automatically once basic information is entered, so potential contractors are not burdened with complicated calculations.

Download the Pay Equity Employee Data Spreadsheet

Will potential contractors with large gender pay gaps be excluded from consideration for an RFP or RFB?

No, but those with pay gaps of 7 percent or less will be rewarded with a 5 percent preference for RFPs and RFBs.

What if women are making more than men -- is that OK?

Gender pay equity is the policy of the US Government, State of New Mexico and City of Albuquerque. This includes both women and men, so that neither group benefits nor is penalized simply because of their gender.

If contractors discover a gender wage gap, is the City going to tell them how to fix it?

No. There are many ways to remedy gender wage gaps, and they are well documented. There are consultants who specialize in this as well. The City of Albuquerque will not dictate how such gaps should be fixed.

Will the City be setting wage rates for private business?

No. Only pay gaps, not pay amounts, are reported. The city won't even know what the contractors are paying, and will in no way advise them on pay scales.

Isn't this going to violate worker privacy or give away valuable pay scale information?

No. Wage or salary data will be part of a contractor's internal calculations, but will not be reported to the city, nor will dollar amounts by group. Only percentage pay gaps between men and women will be reported.

Isn't it going to cost contractors a lot of money to report pay gaps?

The cost should be minimal. Contractors already know who works for them, what their gender is, and how much they're paid, so no new data will need to be gathered. Many are already producing federal/state reports that are in the same format or reports for other purposes. Contractors will not need to come up with reporting schemes or new forms. Required forms are provided at no charge by the City of Albuquerque, and are downloadable online.

In filling out the spreadsheet, how do I figure out how to classify each employee?

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides information to help classify the various jobs in your organization.

View EEOC job classification information.

What about subcontractors?

The City of Albuquerque limits the data to employees of the contractor and not to any subcontractors.

Do I list all of my employees?

You list all your employees who work in New Mexico. So it is not limited just to employees working on the contract or in the City of Albuquerque but all your New Mexico employees who file New Mexico taxes.

Does every contractor have to provide the form?

The ordinance states every private individual and entity must provide the Pay Equity Reporting Form therefore only governmental agencies do not have to provide the form.

Why isn't my data transferring to the reporting form when I fill out the spreadsheet?

Remember to SAVE the file then in the menu bar click DATA and then REFRESH ALL and the data will transfer. if that doesn't work, check your spreadsheet for symbols and remove any periods and dollar signs and round the compensation amount to the nearest dollar.

What if I copy and paste the data and and it doesn't transfer?

Excel may not recognize foreign characters. You may have to manually transfer the data.

The spreadsheet is protected and says I need a password

The only sheet you can enter data on is the Pay Equity Data Entry form. You will get the password message if you try to enter data on the wrong sheet.

Where do I submit the form?

All RFP and RFB bidders must submit the form with their application packet. All contractors must submit the form with their contract.

What if I have more questions?

You can also contact the Gender Pay Equity Initiative by emailing [email protected] or calling (505) 768-3512.