Bill creates bureaucratic nightmare for employers seeking government contracts

If you ever want to land a government contract in Nevada — paving roads, scrubbing floors, selling typing paper — under a proposed law you would be guilty until you prove yourself innocent.

Assembly Bill 106, being sponsored by Democratic Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel of Henderson, would prohibit government agencies in the state from contracting with any firm until it has received a “certificate of pay equity compliance” issued by the state Labor Commissioner declaring the company provides equal pay for equal work performed by men and women employees.

Never mind the fact the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 already proscribes pay discrimination based on gender.

The bill would create a mountain of paperwork because it requires submitting to the Labor Commissioner an annual workforce analysis that includes: the total number of persons employed in each job category by gender, the total number of hours worked for each employee and the total compensation for each.

The bill does allow differences in pay for men and women if:

An employer is not disqualified from receiving a certificate of pay equity compliance pursuant to this section to the extent of any difference in wages between male and female employees that is the result of:

(a) A seniority system;
(b) A merit system;
(c) A compensation system under which wages are determined by the quality or quantity of production; or
(d) A wage differential that is based on factors other than sex.

Of course, all these exemptions are entirely subjective and subject to the whim of the bureaucrat looking at the data. One person’s meritorious job performance is another’s discrimination.

Also, the bill states, “The denial or cancellation (of a certificate of compliance) is not subject to judicial review.”

Satisfy the inspector or no government contract.

Further, the bill adds to the list of those who must obtain a certificate of compliance all governmental agencies and political subdivisions of government, thus driving up the cost to all taxpayers to comply.

Of course, the way to comply is to employ a workforce that consists of only men or women — instant compliance. Or is that discriminatory?

Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel

Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel