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Frequently Asked Questions

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

Revised: April 13, 2021


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% preference for those companies with a 0% gender pay gap 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% preference mean?

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

If the goal is to incentivize progress, doesn’t a 0% standard remove the incentive for businesses trying to get there?

The Initiative has two goals: awareness and reward. The form makes firms aware of pay inequity within their organizations so that they can address it. When the Initiative was launched in 2015, a gap of 10% was allowed. Then, that threshold was lowered to 7% in 2017. These steps were implemented as a phase-in for contractors as an incentive to change. It was decided in 2021 – six years later – that it was time to only reward those firms that have achieved pay equity.

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.

When entering employee data into the form, 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. Therefore, 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.

What if my company has too many employees to manually enter data easily into the form’s portal?

The spreadsheet template below can be used to consolidate data in the necessary format then bulk upload. Make sure to follow the instructions in the spreadsheet carefully. When the spreadsheet is ready, you can use the Restore Data from File button to upload the spreadsheet. The fields in the form should auto-populate from the spreadsheet.

Employee Data Spreadsheet Template

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

Make sure to follow all of the instructions in the spreadsheet. Do not alter the format; just enter your data in the same format as the data shown in the sample. There should be no special symbols such as dollar signs or commas. Make sure numbers are rounded and that all fields are filled out.

My employee data is correctly filled out, but the Continue button still won’t work.

If you have correctly entered all employee data and the form won’t submit, try using a different browser. Google Chrome and Safari tend to work better than Internet Explorer.

After completing the form, do I need to look out for an additional document for certification?

No. Once you electronically sign and submit the form, a representative from the Initiative will review it for compliance. The representative will mark whether your firm is certified or uncertified. A certified form means your company qualifies for the preference. You will receive an email with a link to download the signed form. Whether certified or uncertified, you must include it with your bid or proposal.

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

No, but those with a 0% pay gap will be rewarded with a 5% 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.

Where do I submit the form?

All RFP and RFB bidders must submit the form – whether certified or uncertified – with their application packet. All contractors must submit the form with their contract.

What if I have more questions?

Requests for Bids and Requests for Proposals documents contain a contact person for each specific solicitation. If you have any questions about the solicitation, including the Pay Equity Reporting Form, please contact the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, or Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority representative identified in the solicitation documents.