Pay Equity Bill Passes House Committee


  • Change to Procurement Code Will Add Points in Bid if Companies Show Pay Equity

Today, Rep. Deborah Armstrong’s bill, HB 389, which would amend the state Procurement Code to reward businesses seeking government contracts if they demonstrate that they have a practice of paying equal wages to men and women for the same work, unanimously passed the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee.

Armstrong’s bill would allow businesses with a clearly documented record of providing equal pay to receive extra points in the procurement bidding process with any governmental entity, including state, county and city governments.

“The unanimous support this pay equity bill received today shows that equal work for equal pay is not controversial. It’s just the right thing to do,” Armstrong said. “Indeed, equal pay for equal work is already the law in our state. However, it’s not an easy law to enforce. That’s why I want to give businesses an incentive to not only do the right thing, but also to document it so that their employees – and the state – know that pay equity is valued in New Mexico workplaces.”

Specifically, HB 389 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 a government entity 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. Currently, an Executive Order allows for businesses applying for certain state contracts to receive additional points by documenting equal pay practices. HB 389 would codify that order and open the process up to other governmental entities.

“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.”

HB 389 now heads to the House Business and Employment Committee and then to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.

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