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Executive Order #013

Pay Equity Certification on County Contracts

WHEREAS, federal law, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Federal Executive Order 11246 of September 24, 1965 (Equal Employment Opportunity) (together “Federal Equal Pay Law”), requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work; and

WHEREAS, Section 194 of New York State Labor Law (“NYS Equal Pay Law”) prohibits compensating men and women differently for the same work; and

WHEREAS, on average, a full-time working woman in New York State earns just 85 cents for every dollar that a man earns and the pay gap is even greater for African-American and Latina women; and

WHEREAS, females make up nearly fifty-two percent of Erie County’s population; and

WHEREAS, women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force and are a growing number of breadwinners in their families; and

WHEREAS, this pay differential shortchanges women and their families by thousands of dollars a year, and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime, presenting a lifelong threat to those families’ economic security and reducing their earnings through Social Security and other post retirement plans; and

WHEREAS, poverty is recognized as a leading cause of or contributing factor to many social problems, including but not limited to substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, improper nutrition, obesity, improper health care and criminal conduct; and

WHEREAS, the impact of pay differentials is exacerbated as workers age, causing underpaid workers to disproportionally rely upon various forms of public support in their retirement years; and

WHEREAS, pay inequity can significantly impact the County, necessitating the provision of various public subsidies for low income residents and leading to the lack of receipt of income by women residents which would be spent in our local economy; and

WHEREAS, through the enforcement of current state and federal laws that ban unequal pay for equal work, Erie County can help ameliorate the many negative consequences of pay inequality, thereby improving the lives of those who might otherwise be underpaid, strengthening families and protecting children, and reducing the demand for public services, all positively impacting county, state and federal budgets.   

NOW, THEREFORE, I MARK C. POLONCARZ, Erie County Executive, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Erie County Charter § 302, do hereby order as follows:

1.  It is ordered that on and after January 1, 2015, all Erie County offices, departments and administrative units, including but not limited to the Division of Purchase, fully implement a requirement in all bids, requests for proposals and other contract solicitations that the contractor submit an Erie County Equal Pay Certification which certifies the contractor’s compliance with Federal Equal Pay Law and New York State Equal Pay Law (together, the “Equal Pay Laws”). Such certification shall be required prior to execution of the contract; and it is,

2.  Further ordered that such certification shall include a representation by the contractor that it has not been the subject of an adverse finding under the Equal Pay Laws within the previous five years and shall include disclosure of any currently pending claims against the contractor; and it is,

3.  Further ordered that violation of any provision of the Equal Pay Laws during the effective period of such a contract or the filing of a false or misleading Erie County Equal Pay Certificate may constitute grounds for immediate termination of such a contract; and it is,

4.  Further ordered that violation of any provision of the Equal Pay Laws during the effective period of such a contract or the filing of a false or misleading Erie County Equal Pay Certificate may constitute grounds for determining a bidder or responder is not qualified to participate in future County contracts; and it is,

5.  Further ordered that the Law Department prepare an Erie County Equal Pay Certification for use by Erie County offices, departments and administrative units and assure compliance with this Executive Order in the contract approval process; and it is,

6.  Further ordered that the County Division of Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) establish a procedure for compliance monitoring and periodic auditing of certification records; and it is,

GIVEN, under my hand and the Privy Seal of the County of Erie in the City of Buffalo this 28th day of October, in the year two thousand fourteen.

                                                                                           County of Erie                        


                                                                                   By:   __________________________

                                                                                           Mark C. Poloncarz

                                                                                           Erie County Executive