Equal Pay Best Practices in the #MeToo Era

Oct 04 2018

pay scale

We recently participated in a panel discussion with other business, legal, and HR professionals that outlined how to talk about salary in the #MeToo Era, and how to evaluate employee compensation to look for areas of potential risk. Here are some interesting questions we received from the audience:

Do you have to pay men and women the same salary?
Yes. Under the Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963, pay scale should be tied to a job description. Employees who have the same responsibilities and similar levels of skill, experience, education, and training should be paid the same.

How do I justify promoting one person and not another?
Raises and promotions should be awarded based on merit and the justification for awarding a promotion should be well documented over a length of time. Things to evaluate when considering someone for a promotion can include experience, skill set, seniority, accolades, client/colleague feedback, and metrics. The EPA is clear that pay variables must be based on factors other than gender.

Do we need to audit staff salaries to look for discrepancies?
Yes. Salaries should be audited every year and compared to external market surveys. Enlisting help from a 3rd party organization helps ensure an unbiased outcome. When reviewing employee salaries, pay special attention to trends like gender, race, age, etc. If you notice one particular group is unbalanced, consider implementing policies and training programs to develop and bolster the pay of minority groups.

What is a safe way to ask about salary when hiring a new employee?
The most important thing to know is that in many states, you can’t base your offer upon a candidate’s current or previous salary—and to be safe, you shouldn’t even ask about it. While each state mandates this individually, avoiding these questions is a new best practice. Before you have a salary discussion, do some market research to determine the going rate for your job in your area. Once you have an idea of what you should be paying, you can ask the candidate what he or she is looking to earn and then let the candidate take it from there.

Need help with a salary audit or compensation report? Ask us your compensation related questions via the online chat tool in the lower left corner of your screen. We’d love to talk to you!

Amanda GuzmanGuest Blogger: Amanda Guzman
Bio: Amanda serves as an HR Generalist for a variety of Peoplr’s clients handling employee relations, employment verifications, payroll, hiring and onboarding, compensation analysis, and performance management. She has a degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies from the University of Florida, and is active in HR, Non-Profit, and Entrepreneurial Groups in Jacksonville. 



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