Rep. Deborah Armstrong
New Mexico Rep. Deborah Armstrong, D-Bernalillo, is working to ensure men and women get equal pay in New Mexico.
She introduced a bill, which would amend the state procurement code to provide extra points in the bidding process to companies, seeking to work with the state, that demonstrate a practice of paying equal wages to men and women who do the same work.
Equal work for equal pay is not only the right thing to do, it’s the law in New Mexico,” Armstrong said. “However, it’s not an easy law to enforce. That’s why I want to give businesses an incentive to not only to do the right thing but to document it so that their employees – and the state – know that pay equity is valued in New Mexico workplaces.”
Specifically, her bill changes the procurement code to set standards for the data that a business needs to report to the state to show pay equity is part of their regular practice. The bill further provides that a business responding to a request for proposals from the state can be granted up to an additional 5 percent of the available points in the proposal scoring process if the business provides the necessary pay equity documentation.
The New Mexico Fair Pay for Women Act, which went into effect in 2013, makes it illegal for businesses with at least four employees to pay male and female employees different wages for the same work.
“We should be rewarding businesses that go the extra mile to ensure their employees are treated fairly,” Armstrong said. “That’s exactly what this bill will do.”
The bill was referred to the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee, the House Business and Employment Committee and the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.