SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An ordinance was proposed Friday to require companies doing business with city of San Diego to certify that they provide equal pay -- based on gender and ethnicity -- before being awarded a municipal contract.
Councilman Chris Ward said at a news conference he would ask the panel's Rules Committee to consider the idea and direct the City Attorney's Office to draft a law.
"The city has a responsibility to do whatever it can to achieve equal pay under the law for all residents, and this is a proactive measure to ensure we're leading throughout the region to close the stubborn gender pay gap," Ward said. "The city should use our tremendous purchasing power to drive pay equity for everyone, and ensure that neither gender nor ethnicity hold back any hard working San Diegan from being able to make ends meet and be successful in our communities."
The city currently requires certain compensation standards for its contractors, including that employees are paid a living wage that's adjusted annually.
Ward said his proposal would also provide more effective local enforcement and will help allow employees to discuss pay without fear of retaliation.
According to the councilman, San Diego's municipal government budgeted more than $600 million in contracts for the current fiscal year. The city's drive to catch-up on its $4 billion infrastructure backlog makes it the number one employer of consultants and contractors in the region and positions it to drive employment standards, he said.
An analysis of Census Bureau data conducted by the National Partnership for Women and Families found that a woman who works full time in California makes a median salary of $42,486, compared with a median salary of $50,539 for a man, Ward said.
African American and Latina women working full-time in California make an average of just 64 cents and 44 cents, respectively, for every dollar earned by white men, the study found. California has the worst Latina gender wage gap in the nation.