11/6/14: Poloncarz Signs Executive Order Requiring Equal Pay Certification and Compliance

Modified: January 23, 2015 3:24pm

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Date: 
11/6/14

13th Executive Order Compels Contractors with Erie County to Certify Compliance with Federal, State Equal Pay Laws; Contractors Also Subject to Periodic Compliance Audits

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz signed an Executive Order requiring contractors with Erie County to submit an Erie County Equal Pay Certification indicating their compliance with federal and state Equal Pay Laws prior to entering into a contract with Erie County and subjecting said contractors to future monitoring and audits of contractor records to confirm compliance with Equal Pay Laws. The Executive Order, which goes into effect on January 1, 2015, is the 13th signed by Poloncarz and aligns with a similar reporting requirement advocated by the County Executive for contractors with the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (“ECIDA”) but which has not yet been enacted by the ECIDA.

“With this Executive Order I am putting all contractors who want to do business with Erie County on notice that they must be fully compliant with all federal and state laws regarding equal pay for women, they must prove that prior to entering into any contract with Erie County, and be subject to periodic audits by Erie County’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity,” said Poloncarz.  “I have always been and always will be an unwavering advocate for equal pay for equal work, and this Order ensures that all vendors doing business with Erie County embrace that concept for their employees as well.”

Indicating the strong support in the community for such action, Poloncarz was joined by Sawrie Becker, Erie County Commissioner of Public Advocacy, Jesse L. Burnette, Director of the Erie County Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, Sheri Scavone, Executive Director of the WNY Women’s Foundation, Sara Vescio, Executive Director of the Canisius College Women’s Business Center, Jill Ann Robbins-Jabine, CEO of the YWCA, Donna Berry, President of the YWCA Board of Directors, and other community members as he signed the Executive Order. 

In 2013, among full-time, year-round workers in the United States, Caucasian women were paid 77% of what men were paid for similar work in nearly every occupation, while the disparity is even greater for minorities as African-American women earn 64 cents and Latina women earn 56 cents for every dollar earned by a Caucasian man. Women comprise 52% of Erie County's total population, 48.7% of its labor force, 61% of senior citizens, and 54% of the county’s registered voters. In Erie County, median weekly earnings for a woman working full-time are $638.00, while a man doing similar work earns $798.00. Employers seeking guidance in instituting pay equity in their own companies can access the National Committee on Pay Equity’s Self-Audit, which provides a ten-step guide for evaluating current organizational pay policy and implementing equity-inducing changes where necessary.

Commissioner of Public Advocacy Sawrie Becker added, “The Erie County Commission on the Status of Women (“ECCSW”) exists to work toward gender equity in our society and the Erie County Office of Equal Employment Opportunity exists to ensure equality in employment regardless of the color of one’s skin, gender, age, or other factor. We will be closer to meeting these goals when women are paid equally and fairly with men. I am encouraged that the County Executive recognizes the tremendous impact of pay disparity on women’s lives and that he is taking action with this Executive Order.”

‘The WNY Women's Foundation supports County Executive Poloncarz’ Executive Order as a first step to elimination of the wage disparity between women and men with the goal of ensuring critical income to families living in poverty in WNY,” said Sheri Scavone, Executive Director of the WNY Women’s Foundation.  “Increased transparency in compensation will ensure that families, communities and the entire economy will not suffer as a result of the continuation of wage disparities.”

The Executive Order can be read here.

 

For more information:

On the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women, visit http://www2.erie.gov/csw/

On the Erie County Equal Employment Opportunity Office, visit http://www2.erie.gov/eeo/