Supes Vote in Favor of Equal Pay Ordinance for City Contractors

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today in favor of an ordinance amending the city’s administrative code that will require city contractors to submit an equal pay report and allow for the creation of an advisory board to ensure all city contractors are compensating men and women equally for equal work.

The ordinance will require city contractors and sub-contractors with 20 or more employees to submit an Equal Pay Report regarding compensation paid to employees.

It will also establish the Equal Pay Advisory Board, which will analyze and recommend the best methods of data collection in order to identify wage gaps.

Supervisor Jane Kim said today that the ordinance contains protections “we’ve been waiting on for a long time.”

Kim said the ordinance ensures that anyone who is getting paid with taxpayer dollars in San Francisco receives equal pay for equal work.

Among those in the audience at the board of supervisors meeting who cheered the board’s decision today was 71-year-old Blair Moser, a 40-year resident of the Mission District.

Moser said she expects the ordinance will do a great deal to make sure that all women, including her two daughters and two granddaughters, are treated fairly in the workplace.

The ordinance will allow the city to monitor its contractors, including nonprofit groups, and ensure that they pay their employees equally, regardless of gender, Moser said.

Moser said that unequal pay has, historically, been hard to detect, referencing the Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., which concluded that Lilly Ledbetter received years of discriminatory pay while working at the Goodyear plant in Alabama and didn’t even realize it until someone told her just how much her male colleagues were making in comparison.

In that case, the jury awarded Ledbetter about $3.3 million, but the case was appealed, reversing the verdict, on the grounds that her case was filed too late.

President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress, less than two years later, passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, helping to ensure that those who receive unlawful pay are able to assert their rights under federal anti-discrimination laws.

According to the National Women’s Law Center, the act restored the law and re-established employer accountability for pay discrimination.

But the National Women’s Law Center said that despite anti-discrimination laws, women in the U.S. are paid, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. Additionally, African-American women earn only 64 cents and Hispanic women earn only 55 cents for each dollar earned by males.

Supervisor David Campos addressed the audience filled with supporters of equal pay for equal rights saying, “I’m sorry that it took so long to get to this point.”

The board of supervisors voted unanimously in favor of the ordinance.

Supervisor John Avalos also suggested trailing legislation that could require any company applying for a tax break from the city to also report employee salaries to ensure that men and women are compensated equally in those workplaces as well.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

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  • No doubt most pay-equity advocates think employers are greedy profiteers who’d hire only illegal immigrants for their lower labor cost if they could get away with it. Or who’d move their business to a cheap-labor country to save money. Or replace old workers with young ones for the same reason. So why do these same advocates think employers would NOT hire only women if, as they say, employers DO get away with paying females at a lower rate than males for the same work?

    Here are two telling examples showing that some of America’s most sophisticated women choose to earn less than their male counterparts:

    “…[O]nly 35 percent of women who have earned MBAs after getting a bachelor’s degree from a top school are working full time.” It “is not surprising that women are not showing up more often in corporations’ top ranks.” http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/why-women-are-leaving-the-workforce-in-record-numbers/

    “In 2011, 22% of male physicians and 44% of female physicians worked less than full time, up from 7% of men and 29% of women from Cejka’s 2005 survey.” ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/03/26/bil10326.htm (See also “Female Docs See Fewer Patients, Earn $55,000 Less Than Men” http://finance.yahoo.com/news/female-docs-see-fewer-patients-172100718.html)

    A thousand laws won’t close those gaps.

    In fact, no law yet has closed the gender wage gap — not the 1963 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, not Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, not the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, not affirmative action (which has benefited mostly white women, the group most vocal about the wage gap – tinyurl.com/74cooen), not the 1991 amendments to Title VII, not the 1991 Glass Ceiling Commission created by the Civil Rights Act, not the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, not the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, not the Americans with Disability Act (Title I), not diversity, not the countless state and local laws and regulations, not the thousands of company mentors for women, not the horde of overseers at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, not TV’s and movies’ last two decades of casting women as thoroughly integrated into the world of work, and not the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Nor will the frequently sought Paycheck Fairness Act.

    That’s because women’s pay-equity advocates, who always insist one more law is needed, continue to overlook the effects of female AND male behavior:

    Despite the 40-year-old demand for women’s equal pay, millions of wives still choose to have no pay at all. In fact, according to Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of “The Secrets of Happily Married Women,” stay-at-home wives, including the childless who represent an estimated 10 percent, constitute a growing niche. “In the past few years,” he says in a CNN report at tinyurl.com/6reowj, “many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home.” (See also “More Women are Quitting the Workforce,” Oct. 3, ’14, http://www.marketwatch.com/story/more-women-are-quitting-the-workforce-2014-10-03 If indeed a higher percentage of women is staying at home, perhaps it’s because feminists have told women for years that female workers are paid less than men in the same jobs — so why bother working if they’re going to be penalized and humiliated for being a woman, as illustrated by such titles as this: “Gender wage gap sees women spend 7 weeks working for nothing” http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/cwgbaueysnsn/rss2/.)

    As full-time mothers or homemakers, stay-at-home wives earn zero. How can they afford to do this while in many cases living in luxury? Answer: Because they’re supported by their husband, an “employer” who pays them to stay at home. (Far more wives are supported by a spouse than are husbands.)

    The implication of this is probably obvious to most 12-year-olds but seems incomprehensible to, or is wrongly dismissed as irrelevant by, feminists and the liberal media: If millions of wives are able to accept NO wages, millions of other wives, whose husbands’ incomes vary, are more often able than husbands to:

    -accept low wages

    -refuse overtime and promotions

    -choose jobs based on interest first, wages second — the reverse of what men tend to do (The leading job for American women as of 2010 is — has been for over 40 years — secretary or administrative assistant. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/11/gender-wage-gap_n_3424084.html)

    -take more unpaid days off

    -avoid uncomfortable wage-bargaining (tinyurl.com/3a5nlay)

    -work fewer hours on average than men (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.nr0.htm), or work less than full-time more often than their male counterparts (as in the above example regarding physicians)

    -have less interest in being the boss http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/12/11/on-pay-gap-millennial-women-near-parity-for-now/

    Any one of these job choices lowers women’s median pay relative to men’s. And when a wife makes one of the choices, her husband often must take up the slack, thereby increasing HIS pay — as he decreases his freedom.

    Women who make these choices are generally able to do so because they are supported — or, if unmarried, anticipate being supported — by a husband who feels pressured to earn more than if he’d chosen never to marry. (Married men earn more than single men, but even many men who shun marriage, unlike their female counterparts, feel their self worth is tied to their net worth.) This is how MEN help create the wage gap: as a group they tend more than women to pass up jobs that interest them for ones that pay well.

    Much more in:

    “The Doctrinaire Institute for Women’s Policy Research: A Comprehensive Look at Gender Equality” http://www.malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/the-doctrinaire-institute-for-womens-policy-research/