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Legislative Memo

Frank Kerbein
Director, Center for Human Resources
T 518.465.7511 x210
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

A.6448 (Jaffee) / S.1680 (Savino)

Support

SUBJECT:

Comparable Worth in the public sector

 

DATE:

February 8, 2012

 

This legislation would amend New York State’s Civil Service Law, expanding the equal pay for equal work law to include equal pay for different work. The Business Council opposes enactment of this bill.

Equality of pay is already the law 

For over 40 years, equal pay for equal work has been and continues to be the law for both public and private employers.  This issue is covered by the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Sections 115 and 118 of the New York State Civil Service law. These laws have created a vigorous standard and require employers to pay male and female, minority and non-minority employees the same wages if they are doing work “substantially equal” in skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions. These existing laws already prohibit any wage differentials based on the sex or race of the employee and therefore make it unnecessary to add a new comparable worth section to the state’s Civil Service law.

Market based wages are rejected 

The theory of comparable worth rejects market involvement in the determination of pay and substitutes a so-called objective independent assessment of the “value” of the work. Vast numbers of employers, including public sector employers, use market based salary and wage surveys, to price their positions.

Comparable worth would replace the equality of opportunity with the equality of results, using legislation and government regulation.

For these reasons, The Business Council opposes this legislation and urges that it not be enacted by the New York State Legislature.