Equal pay for men and women continues to be a hot topic. Employers that ignore the national tide towards equal and transparent pay equity could be setting themselves up for an employee’s lawsuit.
From my perspective as an employment law attorney, I urge all employers to take a good look at recent findings in an equal pay study. The University of Missouri’s Truman School of Public Affairs Institute of Public Policy conducted research on ways to address the gender pay gap. The study has been at the front and center in the recent debates over equality in the workplace.
The guidelines provided by the study suggest that employers deal with the pay equity issue in steps: First, employers should discover if gender-based pay disparities exist in their organizations. If they find them, they should work on ways to eliminate those inequities. Finally, they should institute transparency in the pay process. That transparency could include making salary ranges for job titles public, eliminating penalties for discussions of pay and including multiple evaluation processes when considering promotions or pay raises.
The push for pay equity has hit such states as Maryland, Colorado and California and has even shown up on the athletic field in the form of legal battles involving the U.S. Women’s National soccer team. Employers that ignore these issues risk having to defend lawsuits. As an employment lawyer, I urge all employers to take a good hard look at their compensation practices with a view towards insuring both equality and transparency.