Santa Fe, NM- Today the “Fair Pay for Woman Act” sponsored by Rep. Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe-47) and co-sponsored by all the Democratic Women Representatives sailed through the House. The committee substitute provides clear guidelines and remedies for wage disparity in New Mexico. It also allows the employer to assert an affirmative defense of good faith and reasonable grounds for believing the act or omission did not violate the Fair Pay for Women Act to avoid treble damages.
The Democrats in the New Mexico House have been committed to equality in pay for women and are excited for the unanimous bipartisan support in the passage of HB 216. Democrats in the New Mexico House of Representatives will not tolerate acceptance of discrimination for any reason let alone someone’s gender.
“Wage discrimination is a very serious problem for the women of New Mexico,” said Rep. Brian Egolf. “Today, Hispanic women are paid only 61 cents for every dollar paid to men for the same work. Today’s vote will bring to state law the ability for wage claims to be made in state court. This brings access to justice closer to home for New Mexico’s hard working women.”
Women are often the sole breadwinner of their household or have an increasing role in providing resources for their families financial needs. When there is pay equality, that money is reinvested right back in the local communities and is good for economy. With a 64-0 vote, it is clear the House of Representatives believes equal pay for women is the right thing to do.
House Bill 216 now goes to the New Mexico Senate for consideration.