Pay Equity: The Other Hot-Button #MeToo Issue for HR in 2018

Pay Equity: The Other Hot-Button #MeToo Issue for HR in 2018

How confident are you that your organization is paying men and women equally for equal work?

If you haven’t reviewed your compensation recently, now is the perfect time to take a close look at your pay-equity legal risks – before a government agency or a lawsuit does it for you.

Laws prohibiting pay discrimination have been around for decades, but new trends and legislative actions have pushed pay equity to become, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said last month, “one of the biggest issues our nation faces.”

Here’s what’s new on this hot topic … and how your organization should respond:

  1. Pay Equity as a #MeToo Issue   In addition to shining a light on sexual harassment at work, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are also prompting employers to take a fresh look at gender-based pay disparities. A survey of HR executives in January by Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that 48% of companies are reviewing their compensation policies to guarantee pay parity, focusing on gender. On average, women in the United States earn 80 cents for every dollar that men earn, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
  2. New Laws on Salary Inquiries   Several cities and states – including California, Massachusetts and Oregon – have passed laws recently that ban employers from asking job candidates about their past salary history. Many employers have also made the decision on their own, including Amazon and Bank of America. The premise of this trend: Making salary decisions based on past compensation will simply perpetuate previous discrimination. Best bet: Don’t wait for this trend to come calling; ban this question in your hiring.
  3. New Enforcement by the EEOC   Last fall, the EEOC added pay equity to the list of its six major annual priorities. Since then, the agency announced several high-profile settlements that proved how vigorously the EEOC will be enforcing the Equal Pay Act. And don’t think the EEOC will ignore small pay differences – one recent case involved a female pizza shop worker who earned just 25 cents per hour less than a male co-worker.
  4. Salary Transparency   One way some companies are ensuring pay parity is through a controversial tactic – allowing workers to see what their colleagues and superiors earn. More than half (55%) of HR professionals in a Challenger survey agreed that employers should practice some level of salary transparency, even if it’s just providing a range of compensation for each position. But only 3% of employers actually do this now.

Gender pay disparities can trigger huge class-action lawsuits and reputation-crushing bad press. Don’t get tripped up in this compliance mistake – or any other. Get in compliance with the expert advice you’ll find at LEAP 2018. Plus, you’ll have a fabulous time with your peers at the legendary Caesars Palace.