7/2/15: Poloncarz Statement on ECIDA Policy Committee Pay Equity Passage

Modified: July 2, 2015 2:23pm

Latest News


9-3 Committee Vote Approves Proposal on Pay Equity; Measure Now Goes to Full ECIDA Board

ERIE COUNTY, NY—Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz issued the following statement regarding the Erie County Industrial Development Agency’s (“ECIDA”) Policy Committee’s approval of a Pay Equity Policy for entities seeking a tax inducement with the ECIDA. The Policy, which would compel applicants for tax inducements to certify that they are in compliance with Pay Equity laws and also submit to periodic audits to verify the same, will go to the full ECIDA board for a vote.

Poloncarz said, “I thank the members of the ECIDA Policy Committee who voted in favor of the Pay Equity Policy for taking a principled stand to ensure that entities seeking a tax break from the people of our community through the ECIDA are fully in compliance with pay equity laws and can prove it. We should never reward a company that discriminates against its female employees with a tax break. It has been over 50 years since the passage of the Equal Pay Act, yet in 2015 women are still paid, on average, seventy-seven cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts for similar work. As a community we must do all that we can to eliminate such discrimination and today’s committee action is a step in that direction. Simply put, this policy requires companies to certify that they follow equal pay laws and submit to periodic audits to demonstrate that compliance. As former President Ronald Reagan once said, ‘Trust, but verify.’ With this pay equity policy, the public will gain assurance and transparency in knowing their tax dollars are not going to businesses that discriminate against their employees because, once fully approved by the Board of Directors, we will be able to verify entities receiving a tax break are in fact following the law.”

Members of the Policy Committee voting in favor of the Pay Equity Policy include: ECIDA Vice Chairman Richard Lipsitz, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Elizabeth Burakowski, President of the Buffalo AFL-CIO Labor Council John Mudie, Cheektowaga Supervisor Mary Holtz, Chris Johnston, Buffalo Chapter NAACP President Frank Mesiah, Eden Supervisor Glen Nellis, and David State. Voting against the Pay Equity Policy were Erie County Legislator Edward Rath, Amherst IDA President James Allen, and Grand Island Supervisor Mary Cooke. ECIDA Board of Directors Chairperson Brenda McDuffie indicated her support for the policy through teleconference; however, pursuant to ECIDA rules, she had to attend the meeting in person for her vote to have counted. The policy will now be presented to the ECIDA’s Board of Directors for its approval at its July, 2015 Board meeting.