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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about the Women's Pay Equity Task Force Instructions.

What is the new requirement for gender pay equity reporting?

The original Albuquerque City Ordinance Council Bill No. O-13-59 Enactment O-2013-018 signed by Mayor Richard Berry on Nov. 22, 2013, and published Dec. 13, 2013, amends the City of Albuquerque Purchasing Ordinance to require that all responses to requests for bids (RFB) and requests for proposals (RFP), include a completed Pay Equity Reporting Form ("Reporting Form"), unless exempt as provided below.

The latest amendment added to the ordinance Council Bill O-25-47 now also covers Capital Improvement Projects and allows for a 5% preference in competitive bids for any weighted wage average of 10.00% or less to begin July 1, 2015.This preference will begin with solicitations on or after July 1, 2015.

What is the new process?

  1. Per the RFP/RFB solicitation you are responding to, applicants will continue to download the Pay Equity Employee Data spreadsheet from the Office of Diversity and Human Rights (ODHR) website and fill it in with their employee data. You should do this 5 days before the RFP/RFB is due.
  2. If your weighted average shows a 10.00% weighted average or less you may be eligible for a preference.
  3. If you want to pursue the preference, you must email the signed Reporting Form to the ODHR at [email protected]. They will review your request and will send you a pdf certificate if you are eligible for the preference.
  4. The certification is good for 12 months so you can apply before and RFP/RFB bid.
  5. When they are ready to submit your bid packet in response to an RFP/RFB, you:
    1. MUST submit a signed Reporting Form to be considered responsive to the bid, and
    2. MAY submit your certificate from the Office of Diversity and Human Rights to be considered for the preference.
  6. Any questions prior to the bid about this process can be submitted to the ODHR at [email protected] or 505-768-4712. During the bid process all questions will go through the City office handling the bids.

What if companies don't want to do this?

Failure to submit your signed Reporting Form will result in a response to a RFB, RFP or Capital Improvement Project (CIP) being deemed nonresponsive. Fair pay is a federal, state, and City law. If you are eligible for the preference, you can elect not to submit the certification but you must still submit the Reporting Form.

What is the Reporting Form, what is the Pay Equity Certificate and why do I want these?

The Reporting Form is a worksheet on the Pay Equity Data Employee spreadsheet. The Report Form must be signed and submitted with each competitive bid to the Purchasing Office or CIP.

The Pay Equity Certificate is a separate document that you must apply for if you want to receive the preference. You will submit the same Reporting Form to the City of Albuquerque Office of Diversity and Human Rights. They will review your data and determine if you are eligible for a preference. If you are, they will email you a pdf Pay Equity Certificate.

For each competitive bid, you must submit your company Reporting Form otherwise your bid will be deemed unresponsive. Also, if you are pursing the pay equity preference, you must submit your Pay Equity Certificate which must be in your bid package and valid on the date the bids are due.

How will I know if I should pursue the pay equity preference?

The Reporting Form has a line indicating your company weighted average wage deviation. If it is 10.00% or less you may be eligible for the pay equity preference.

What do you mean I MAY be eligible for the pay equity preference?

There is a maximum preference for the competitive bids which cannot exceed 10%. If for example you are already eligible for a local business preference (5%) and small business preference (5%). You will be at the 10% limit.

Also note, there are situations when your data will produce an N/A on the spreadsheet. In these situations you are not eligible for the preference. Some examples include:

  1. if you have one or no employees in New Mexico,
  2. there are only men or only women in your agency, and
  3. there is only one gender in any of the nine categories that fit your agency data.

What is the specific process for obtaining a Pay Equity Certificate?

You will email your signed Reporting Form that shows you have a 10.00% or less weighted wage gap to the Office of Diversity and Human Rights (ODHR) at [email protected]. Your email should also include a contact person and email/phone number.

If you are seeking the preference in response to an active bid, you must submit this at least 5 days prior to when the bid is due to allow the ODHR to process the information.

The ODHR will review and make a determination if you are eligible. They will either email you a response indicating you are not eligible or a pdf certificate with the company name you provided, a unique number, the email address and the dates the certificate is valid.

Why should I get a certificate before July 1, 2015?

The preference will go into effect on July 1, 2015. You do not have to wait for a bid to see if you are eligible for a preference. If you are eligible, you should get your certificate as soon as possible because they are valid for 12 months unless your employment data changes.

What if I am not eligible for the preference, do I still need to submit the Pay Equity Data sheet?

Yes, to be bid compliant you will still need to submit just the one signed worksheet (Reporting Form) that shows the wage deviations NOT the other sheets and especially not the one with actual wages.

Where can I find the text of the ordinance?

View the ordinance.

What if my company has a city contract, but we subcontract most of the work. What are the requirements regarding subcontractors?

Any contractor subcontracting out ten percent (10%) or more of the dollar value of the contract, regardless of the number of subcontractors, will be required to provide a Reporting Form for each subcontractor.

Are any contractors responding to a RFB, RFP or CIP exempt from submitting a reporting form?


Even out-of-state contractors that have no facilities and no employees working in New Mexico must still submit a reporting form. There is a box you can check on the spreadsheet that indicates you have no employees in New Mexico. If this applies to you, check the box since you have no employee data to provide. You will still need to sign and submit the reporting form.

Where do I find the Pay Equity Data Spreadsheet and the Reporting Form?

The Pay Equity Data Spreadsheet and instructions can be found here. The Pay Equity Data Spreadsheet has 4 different worksheets. The Pay Equity Data Entry Form worksheet is for entering your employee data. The spreadsheet has been developed with formulas to automatically calculate gender pay gaps. Many payroll processing companies also have the capability to upload the required data into the worksheet.

The Reporting Form worksheet is the one you will sign and submit with every bid.

What if I need help on the form or have questions about the process?

Prior to an open bid, you can always contact the office of Diversity and Human rights especially because you can pre-certify for the preference.

During the bid process, the procedure is more formal and inquiries must be made through the Purchasing Office/CIP.

What if I don't know how to classify my employees for the reporting form?

To simplify reporting, we are using job categories contained in the federal EEO-1 reporting form, which many companies are already using.

Who in my company is responsible for the accuracy of the reporting form?

The principal executive of your company is responsible for the accuracy of the Reporting Form, and that person must sign to certify the accuracy of the Reporting Form, regardless of who fills it out.

Is the City going to audit the reporting forms?

Reports are subject to audit by the Albuquerque Office of Diversity and Human Rights who can select and review data and randomly select locations for audit.

My company was awarded a contract prior to the notice of these requirements. Do I still have to report?

If you were awarded a contract or multi-year contract that was solicited or awarded prior to Feb. 22, 2014, you are not required to submit a Reporting Form for the duration of the contract (including all optional extensions). You are, however, encouraged to submit a Reporting Form voluntarily, as this may help you pinpoint any potential problems for future reporting.

How is the information in the reporting forms going to be used by the City?

The City will use the information in the Reporting Form to produce a report for the City Council regarding the deviation between salaries for men and women and may make further recommendations. All information submitted to the City is public information.

What if my reporting form shows gender wage gaps?

This presents an opportunity for the contractor to review its internal policies on hiring and salaries.

What if my wage gaps are not related to gender?

We realize there are multiple factors that affect wages. The ideal goal is a 0.00% wage deviation. Because of a variety of factors, the current deviation that is eligible for a preference is 10.00%.

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

Gender pay equity is the policy of the U.S. 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 I discover a gender wage gap, how can I get help to fix it?

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. The City won't even know what the contractors are paying, and will in no way advise them on pay scales. The only information that should be submitted to the City is the form that indicates the wage deviation and nothing else.

Does fixing a wage gap mean some people's wages will need to be lowered?

Methods by which pay gaps are remedied are the decision and responsibility of the contractor, not the City. Lowering anyone's pay to achieve parity is not the policy or recommendation of the City of Albuquerque and may be in violation of the New Mexico Fair Pay for Women Act. Experts in the pay equity field do not recommend cutting any employee's pay to overcome pay gaps.

Is a contractor's submission of reporting forms going to violate worker privacy?

No. Wage and salary data will be part of a contractor's internal calculations. The Reporting Form the contractor submits to the City, does not reflect actual dollar amounts of pay, nor pay amounts by group. Only percentage pay gaps between groups will be reported.

Does this Reporting Form give away valuable pay scale information to the competitors of businesses that report?

No. The Reporting Form the contractor submits to the City does not reflect actual pay amounts only the percentage differences between pay for women and men in the same job categories and/or pay bands.

Is 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, the gender of each employee, and how much they are 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 new reporting schemes or new forms.

What about the extra burden on small business?

There is no substantial burden on small business, as forms and procedures are provided and staff time will be minimal.

Does the pay equity reporting requirement apply between the city and other government agencies?

If a governmental entity is responding to a RFB or RFP the governmental entity is required to comply with the requirements of such procurement, including submission of the Reporting Form.

Do I have to include all of my employees in the Reporting Form, or just those that are working on a contract?

The requirement applies to all employees working in New Mexico who work for a contractor, regardless of whether they are doing work on a contract.

My company responds to many RFBs and RFPs. Do I have to file a report with each one?

Yes, but you only have to prepare one Reporting Form per year, for the first RFB or RFP you prepare. After that, you can reprint and submit the same Reporting Form (just change the RFB or RFP number) for each new solicitation that year unless there have been changes in your employee’s pay especially if it would alter your eligibility for certification.

The State of New Mexico requires these reports only if a contract is awarded, not as part of the bidding documents. Why is the City's requirement different?

The City requires the Reporting Form from all applicants because it offers a preference in the bidding stage to those companies with a wage gap that is 10.00% or less.

What if someone challenges the authenticity of my numbers?

The contractor at their own expense will have to provide documentation from a third party auditor attesting to the validity of the numbers provided to the City.

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Women's Pay Equality Task Force