Google breaks away from pay transparency taboo
- Google employees are posting and comparing their wages online, a stark break from an age-old taboo, San Francisco Chronicle reports. Startups and tech companies are largely leading the push for pay transparency.
- That's not the case for all organizations, however. Many employers are pushing back against pay transparency, says the Chronicle. Many prohibit or discourage it, despite federal and California state laws that permit open discussions about wages and forbid retaliation against workers who engage in it.
- Pay discrimination and inequities might be driving the need for pay transparency. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show women earning 79ȼ for every dollar men earn, while African-American and Hispanic women earn 64ȼ and 55ȼ respectively.
Pay transparency is one of the most challenging compliance issues in 2017. Workers used to consider their earnings private information. That’s obviously changing, with online tools (a la Glassdoor) and open chats that can compare employees’ wages and determine how they those numbers might be calculated.
Employers might want to give up suppressing wage information. Their insistence on keeping workers’ pay confidential might be perceived as covering up wage disparities. Pay transparency allows employees, especially women, minorities and members of the LGBTQ community, to see whether their pay is on par with or unfairly lower than others doing the same or similar work.
Studies show a lack of pay transparency also negatively impacts recruitment efforts, with 69% of employees in a Glassdoor survey saying they wish they had a better understanding of their market value. Millennials have even been named the "Glassdoor generation" for insisting on transparency in all areas of recruitment, not just pay.
Some state and local laws also prohibit employers from asking job candidates about their pay history with intention to prevent that information from being used to set wages — a discriminatory practice. Moreover, top HR academic programs are already instilling the virtues of pay equity next generation of professionals.
A model is already available to those who want to improve their communication around pay and salary. The first step? Working with the correct information.