New York City Council Releases New Report on City Employee Pay Equity, Legislation to Address Disparities

Council’s 2022 Pay Equity Report finds pay inequities remain, particularly among women, Black and Latino municipal workers

City Hall, NY – Speaker Adrienne Adams and the New York City Council today released its annual report on pay inequities within New York City’s municipal workforce, showing continued inequities. In conjunction with the release of the 2022 Pay Equity report, the Council also is holding a hearing on pay inequities in the City’s workforce and legislation to address them.

The 2022 report reveals two persistent, large pay gaps in the City’s municipal workforce – one between Black, Latino, and white employees, and another between male and female employees. The data confirms non-white employees and female employees predominantly occupy civil service titles with the lowest median salaries, and the same groups represent a much smaller proportion of employees who occupy civil service titles with the highest median salaries. This produces an ‘occupational segregation’ that results in pay disparities.

  • Female municipal employees on average make 73 cents for every dollar made by male employees;
  • Black city workers on average make 71 cents to every dollar for white employees;
  • Latino workers on average make 75 cents to every dollar for white employees; and
  • Asian employees on average make 85 cents to every dollar for white employees.

Furthermore, pay inequity is particularly higher among non-white female employees. Black and Latino women municipal employees make 69 cents to every dollar made by white male employees, and Asian women city workers make 82 cents for every dollar made by white male city workers.

While a small but significant pay inequity can be observed within the same civil service titles (Black, Latino and Asian city workers earn about 99 cents on every dollar for white workers of the same civil service title), the pay inequity is most pronounced for non-white female employees.  for non-white female employees. While Black or African American male employees make 0.9% less than white male employees with the same title, Black or African American female employees and Hispanic or Latina female employees make even less—1.4 percent and 1.3 percent less, respectively.

The full report is available here.

“We have long been aware that, even within our municipal workforce, pay disparity exists along racial and gender lines,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “These pay inequities especially affect Black, Latina, and Asian women. As the most diverse and first women-majority Council, we will not rest until all New York City workers are valued equally with job salaries and opportunities for their contributions to our City regardless of gender or race.”

The pay equity report is the product of the Council’s innovative Pay Equity Law (Local Law 18 of 2019), which requires the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA) to publicly report New York City municipal employee pay data publicly and provide the Council with direct access to the data to facilitate its own annual statistical analysis. It is the only such law of its kind in the City. The 2022 report builds on the analysis of the Council’s 2021 Pay Equity report.

The new legislation being heard at today’s hearing would require city agencies to include an analysis of compensation data and measures to address pay disparity and occupational segregation, as well as report on recruitment and retention efforts to expand diversity across city government. It would also amend the existing Pay Equity Law 18 of 2019 to require that agencies provide new categories of information to the Council for each City employee, expand the definition of ‘agency’ to capture more of the City workforce, and provide the Council with the pay and employment data year-round to provide more robust oversight over public municipal employee data. The three proposed bills will be heard at a Thursday oversight hearing of the Council’s Committees on Civil Service and Labor & Civil and Human Rights. Earlier this week, the Council announced legislation to improve the diversity, equity and inclusion practices at the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY).

“The fight for gender and racial pay equity is a global dilemma that has persisted for far too long, and our women-majority City Council is continuing to push progress to close the gap in our city. Effectively addressing the roots of these disparities begins with data, which was the aim of the Pay Equity Law. Despite the great strides and attempts to mitigate the gap, the second round of findings demonstrates that disparities remain,” said Council Member Carmen De La Rosa, Chair of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor. “As Chair of the Civil Service and Labor Committee as well as the vice co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, I will continue working alongside Speaker Adams to find effective solutions that will ultimately strengthen our workforce.”

“As Chair of the Civil and Human Rights Committee, I am committed to doing all that I can to help achieve pay equity for all. I believe that pay equity is an issue that needs to be addressed. As a Black woman, it’s clear that we still have work to do in this area. The gender and racial pay gap has been a problem for far too long, and women are still being paid less than men for doing the same job. This is unacceptable,” said Council Member Nantasha Williams, Chair of the Committee on Civil and Human Rights. “The Pay Equity Law was created to identify pay disparities among employees of the City of New York (NYC) based on race, ethnicity, gender, and other protected classes. I believe that it’s our responsibility as lawmakers to ensure that everyone has equal access when it comes to employment opportunities—and equal access means equal compensation!”

“While I am of course pleased to be a member of a Council that pays such close attention to the crucial issue of pay inequity, I can’t say I am equally pleased about the findings of this report,” said Council Member Tiffany Cabán, Chair of the Committee on Women and Gender Equity. “Not that it is surprising that glaring pay disparities exist along the same gender and racial hierarchies that have organized our economy at large for the entirety of our city’s — and country’s — history. Nevertheless, the fact remains that we owe our municipal workforce, and all New Yorkers, much fairer, more just, more equitable economic outcomes.”

“It is deeply important to me that women are represented in their local governments,” said Council Member Amanda Farías, Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus. “The data that the New York City Council received from the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics confirms what we have historically known, women, especially women of color, are often not found in leadership roles citywide. Loss of income that is based on gender and/or racial discrimination is a tremendous setback not only to women’s individual prosperity, but for the overall economic recovery of our City. In May we signed the Salary Range Bill (Int 134-A) which was critical for women of color to knowingly apply for jobs that value their experience with the appropriate salary ranges into law, but this data shows that the fight for equal pay for Black and Brown women is far from over. As an Afro-Latina Council Member from the Bronx, Chair of the Committee on Economic Development, and Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus I personally know how essential it is that we continue to fight for more representation in leadership in every sector, including our own municipality.”

“This week, we acknowledge Black Women Equal Pay Day by introducing a series of legislation aimed to give our community members a greater chance to serve for the City of New York with fair pay and opportunity,” said Council Member Farah Louis, Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus. “I am excited to present my legislation aimed at increasing transparency within our municipal government to eliminate pay discrepancies between employees of the City, and am proud to co-prime legislation with Civil Service and Labor Chair De La Rosa to increase the diversity and inclusion of employment with the City to ensure that every New Yorker seeking a career in civil service has a fair opportunity to serve. I applaud Speaker Adams for her commitment to increasing oversight of employment for the City of New York, which as the largest municipal workforce in the United States, will set an example to the public and private sectors in increasing equity in careers across the board.”

“In a City that advocates for the equity and protection of all New Yorkers in the workplace,  our own municipal workforce must be held to the same standard,” said Council Member Kevin C. Riley, Co-Chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. “The Council’s Pay Equity Report sheds light on the immense work that still needs to be done to bridge the pay gap and put an end to pay disparities that disproportionately affect underrepresented communities of color. As long as Black and brown municipal employees and women of color remain underpaid in comparison to their counterparts, we must enhance the Council’s oversight to achieve the pay equity they truly deserve. Although the latest 2021 data reports indicate a slight improvement from data in 2019, frankly, it is not enough. As we continue to partner in identifying opportunities that improve our infrastructure, the City needs sustainable, long-term solutions that address the lack of pay equity in our municipal workforce. I am grateful for the transparency that holds even our City accountable, and I am looking forward to the advocacy of Chairs Williams and De La Rosa, along with my colleagues, in this hearing to lay the groundwork that encourages a plan for partnership and legislation necessary to ensure equal pay for all New Yorkers.”

“Every municipal worker contributes to the very fabric that makes this city run every hour of the day. Despite our equal love and commitment to this city, non-white and non-male employees experience disparities in their pay. The City falls short if the salaries of the people responsible for its maintenance still lag behind their colleagues, despite doing the same work or having the same title,” said Council Member Pierina Sanchez, Secretary of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. “This report, bringing much needed transparency into these discrepancies, must inform our leaders to act. On this #BlackWomensEqualPayDay it is crucial we commit to this goal.”

“The facts speak for themselves and prove what we have known all along, which was confirmed by our successful lawsuit against the City of New York for pay discrimination,” said CWA Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton. “Women and minorities are severely short-changed in New York City when it comes to both salaries and paths for advancement. Gender and race have absolutely no place in the promotional or salary determination processes. It is incumbent upon this city to take the bold steps necessary to create equality for all in the workforce. Many women and minorities are heads of their households and must be given a comparable chance to support their families and not be held back simply because they are not white men.”

The proposed legislation is as follows:

Introduction 515, sponsored by Speaker Adams, would require that the agencies include an analysis of compensation data and measures to address pay disparity and occupational segregation. The head of each agency would also be required to submit an annual report on the number of new full-time and part-time employees retained, promoted, terminated, or that resigned and their compensation. Finally, the bill would require the Equal Employment Practices Commission to conduct a comparable worth analysis annually and submit its findings to the Mayor and the Speaker of the Council.

Introduction 527, sponsored by Council Member De La Rosa, would require each city agency that requires applicants to take a civil service exam to report annually in order to evaluate and expand diverse recruitment and retention within City government. The bill would also require reporting on agency training programs to again evaluate recruitment efforts across City government. Finally, the bill streamlines existing requirements on the Department of Education’s responsibility as it pertains to the dissemination of information on civil service examinations to high school juniors and seniors.

Introduction 541, sponsored by Council Member Louis, would amend the existing Pay Equity Law by requiring the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to provide new categories of information to the Council for each City employee with respect to the reporting of employment data. This bill also expands the definition of agency to capture more of the City workforce. Finally, this bill will also provide the Council the pay and employment data year-round so the Council can provide more robust oversight over the Administration.

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New York City Council Releases New Report on City Employee Pay Equity, Legislation to Address Disparities