Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Elizabeth Maher Muoio, Pamela Lampitt and Gabriela Mosquera to help combat gender pay inequities in the workplace continued advancing on Thursday, gaining approval from a Senate panel.
The bill (A-883), which was approved by the full Assembly in April, would require every bidder on a state contract or agreement to submit a report to the Division of Purchase and Property in the Department of Treasury that measures the extent to which men and women employed by that bidder perform the same or comparable work at different rates of pay and the extent to which job titles within that entity may be predominately held by members of the same gender.
“Women in every state and in nearly every occupation experience the pay gap,” said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “Over their lifetime this can have a significant impact on their financial security. Stricter measures to ensure parity in the workplace are clearly needed. This is one particular area where the state has the authority to exercise control over these disparities and it should.”
“The gender pay gap has barely budged over the last decade, which means that at the current rate, absent any significant nationwide reforms, we won’t close this gap for another century,” said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). “This measure will help us monitor discriminatory pay practices to ensure a more equitable workplace in New Jersey.”
“Statistics show that the gender pay gap is worse for mothers and it only grows with age, which makes it even harder for single mothers, in particular, to get ahead in life,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester). “This bill would ensure that employers seeking to do taxpayer-funded business with the state are supporting an equitable work environment free of gender-based discrimination.”
Under the bill, the division would develop a system for bidders to use to measure and remedy gender-based pay gaps and gender-based equality within job titles. The division would also develop uniform reporting instructions and criteria and provide prospective bidders with technical assistance in complying.
Reports submitted by bidders would be assigned a rating that indicates the extent to which the bidder is free of gender-based pay inequity and inequality within job titles. A contract would be awarded to the bidder whose bid, conforming to the invitation for bids, would be most advantageous to the state, with price and other factors, including the rating on this report, considered.
The bill’s provisions would not apply to any contract when the public exigency requires the immediate delivery of goods or performance of services or to any contract that is paid for in whole or in part with federal funds if application thereto would affect eligibility to receive those funds.
The bill was approved by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee and now awaits final legislative approval from the full Senate.
The bill would take effect one year after enactment but the division may take any anticipatory administrative action in advance as may be necessary for its implementation.