Ways Employers Should Prepare for Equal Pay Laws

By hrlineup | 17.12.2019

One of the biggest issues HRs have to deal with and an issue that is expected to be seen in the coming years is equal pay, especially when it comes to gender. Even though it has been more than 50 years since the enactment of the Equal Pay Act (1963) and the Civil Rights Act (1964), wage inequality in employee compensation remains a touchy topic.

According to the Bureau of Statistics, the median salary for women is about 24% less than that of the men, which means women earn about 76% when men are earning 100%. Even though this disparity has increased over the years, it still shows that there is a long way to go before equal pay is realized in the workplaces.

The federal Equal Pay Act already eliminates wage disparity based on sex, which other laws including the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act forbids compensation discrimination on the basis of color, race, sex, religion, age, national origin and disability. Even with all these in place, there is still a significance difference in the way people are paid in most industries.

Many states are now taking it upon themselves to introduce equal pay laws for hr that could further address pay equity. Some laws are stricter than others in matters such as employers inquiring about employee’s payment history and relying on it to determine how much compensation he should offer. Some employers even forbid their employees from making discussions about their wages, an issue some of these laws will address.

To prepare well for equal pay laws, employers should:

1. Forget about salary history inquiries

The new laws on pay equity will prohibit employers from asking employees what they were earning in their last job during the recruitment process.  Employers will not even be allowed to ask the same from their employee’s previous employer. It is believed that these are some of the things that are prolonging pay disparities

2. Be ready to comply to the various pay equity laws

It is clear than a number of comparable worth laws are going into effect soon, and so, employer should be ready to comply with them all. That is why it is recommended to work closely with a HR professional to make sure that you are compliant in the city or state where your business is operating.

3. Be well prepared for the equal pay laws

Since these laws are here, it is important for employers to take them as a priority. This will not only help the business comply with the existing federal, state and local laws but also mitigate risks and also create a workplace culture where all employees feel like they are valued and compensated fairly.

Going by the equal pay act definition, all employees are supposed to be paid equally, irrespective of their gender, disability, nationality and other factors that employers use to determine an employee’s compensation. To ensure that you are complying with the set laws, it is important for every business to review its compensation practices, be prepared to offer pay scales and also ban online searches of salary history.