Erie County Executive Order Requires Contractors to Certify Compliance with Equal Pay Laws

November 12, 2014

By: Erin S. Torcello

On November 6, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz signed an Executive Order, which requires all contractors, prior to entering into a contact with the County, to submit an Erie County Equal Pay Certification stating their compliance with federal and state equal pay laws.  The order applies to all bids, requests for proposals, and other contract solicitations issued by County offices, departments, and administrative units on and after January 1, 2015. Under the Executive Order, equal pay laws, which mandate that men and women are paid equally for the same work, include the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Federal Executive Order 11246, and Section 194 of the New York State Labor Law (collectively referred to as the “Equal Pay Laws” in the Executive Order).  The required certification must include a declaration that there have been no adverse findings against the contactor under the Equal Pay Laws within the last five years and a disclosure of any pending claims against the contractor.  The Erie County Law Department will create the Equal Pay Certification form that contractors will be required to sign. Additionally, the County’s Division of Equal Employment Opportunity (the “Division of EEO”) is required under the Executive Order to establish a procedure for monitoring and periodic auditing of contractors to ensure compliance with the Equal Pay Laws and the certification requirements.  This increased oversight is significant, because a County contract may be immediately terminated and/or the contractor may be disqualified from participating in future County contracts if the contractor files a false or misleading certification or violates any provision of the Equal Pay Laws during the term of the contract. When the Division of EEO establishes a procedure for compliance monitoring and auditing, and when any other guidance becomes available, we will follow and report on those developments.