- Keeping the details secret about people's pay has, for the most part, been sacrosanct among America's employers. But that may not be the case much longer, according to InsideCounsel online.
- The article explores the notion that today's younger workers have little appetite for keeping compensation private, calling it the "so what?” perspective. Transparency on pay is a only a "few keystrokes or smartphone swipes away" from being completely out of an employer's control. And employers will need to deal with the repercussions of that possibility, like it or not.
- For example, California’s equal pay law, which went into effect Jan. 1, means workers who tell co-workers about another co-worker's pay can't be reprimanded. California believes pay secrecy nurtures a workplace where the pay disparity between genders is ignored, and some see that law as the model legislation for New York, Pennsylvania and "perhaps even Congress."
The article goes on to say that efforts to silence employees by restricting their social networking has failed. In fact, they backfired, resulting in employers learning the hard way that they can't adopt policies that curtail employees' protected speech. This past year had several NLRB rulings that supported greater rights for workers looking to share data using the social media platform of their choice.
Instead, employers should consider out-leaking the leakers, and create a "well-planned and smoothly implemented transition" into open pay transparency, which other studies have confirmed is now a key part of a successful compensation strategy. At the same time, employers should make sure they are paying their top talent competitively and fairly.
In the coming year, employers must learn and adapt to the fact that workforce payroll information may pop up on a public website. Even so, with proper planning and preparation, the damage may not be as destructive as once thought.