August 1, 2017 (San Diego) The city has become the largest city to adopt an equal pay ordinance, that will force city contracts to pay the same to minority and women contractors as it does to their white counterparts. This is important, even if this is going to rely on complaints, more than actual city direct enforcement.
It was passed by the full city council. This was spearheaded by Councilman Chris Ward, who wrote in a statement:
In Fiscal Year 2017 alone, the City is budgeted to have a contract expenditure value of over $613.5 million. Additionally, the magnitude and demand of the City’s $4 billion Capital Improvements Program has made the City of San Diego the single largest employer of consultants and contractors in the region and positions the City to drive employment standards.
“A little more than a dozen years ago, we passed the Living Wage Ordinance in San Diego, so that people working for companies that do business with the city could take home decent pay and benefits. It was about fairness,” said State Senator Toni Atkins. “The Equal Pay Ordinance is a continuation of that idea: If you’re doing business with the city, you’re going to be a partner in an effort to make sure that women in San Diego are treated fairly. I applaud Councilmember Ward for picking up the torch on behalf of working families.”
Modeled after the City’s very successful Equal Benefits and Living Wage Programs, the Equal Pay proposal utilizes a similar framework to ensure compliance is provided including assisting contractors in understanding obligations, monitoring contracts, maintaining records, conducting reviews, investigating complaints, and providing reports as needed.
The city is leading the region, as well other major cities with this action.