The upcoming election, which is just around the corner, has brought the issues of equal pay and the wage gap between genders into the spotlight. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, a sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, has made equal pay for men and women a main issue of her platform. The media has continued to question the other major-party presidential candidate, Donald Trump, on the issue, but he has yet to commit to a policy. He has wavered on his stance on equal pay when asked about it throughout his campaign.
Getting ahead of the curve
In August 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill that promotes equal pay for men and women who perform substantially similar work. The new law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2018, makes Massachusetts the first state in the United States to pass a robust equal pay law. According to Governor Baker, the new legislation will prevent pay discrimination based on gender by allowing employees to freely discuss their salaries with coworkers. It will also prohibit employers from requiring job applicants to disclose their salary before receiving an official job offer. Additional states may pass legislation similar to the new Massachusetts law in order to promote wage equality.
Employers can get ahead of the curve and prepare for future legislative changes by enforcing recruiting and compensation policies that reduce bias in their processes and by documenting their practices. Here are some best practices to consider:
Regardless of the outcome of this year’s election, equal pay will continue to be an important issue for legislators and management professionals. Implementing objective compensation strategies will go a long way in helping your organization promote equality for all.