Pay equity concerns are one of the biggest pain points for modern HR professionals as pay gaps are still prevalent across industries. For instance, the American Association of University Women, or the AAUW, says that for every dollar a man makes in the U.S., women make 80 cents.
Recent developments that aim to close pay gaps include implementing salary history bans. Here's more about what you can do to address and improve pay equity.
What are salary history bans?
We've all probably been asked by a potential employer our salary history, as well as salary expectations. Some states are now prohibiting employers from requesting this information. The reasoning is to end pay discrimination that still exists in many industries and workplaces.
When an employer asks for someone's salary history, they make an offer that's more based around that information than it is about a person's qualifications or experience. These laws also protect employees who discuss their salaries with co-workers.
According to HR Dive, there are currently 13 state-wide bans of this type in the U.S., and 11 local bans within certain cities or counties. Aside from these governments actually taking legal action, HR professionals are adopting this policy more and more to address pay inequality.
How to implement salary history bans
Before offering a job to an executive-level candidate, and perhaps even before interviewing, it's important to have a very clear salary in mind. Do industry research to find out what the average salaries are in your area for these high-level positions.
This will help prevent pay inequality, as, in theory, you would make a similar offer to any of the best, most qualified candidates, regardless of their salary history, ethnicity, age, gender or any other factor.
If you live within a state or local jurisdiction that has banned salary histories, make sure that all HR professionals, recruiters, and managers are aware that they cannot ask a candidate about it. They can, however, ask what a candidate's salary requirements or expectations are.
Also ensure that your background checks or verification processes don't include inquiring into salary history, Employee Benefit News advises.
Salary history bans don't mean that employers can't negotiate with a candidate, or take certain qualifications into account when making an offer, however.
Other strategies to address pay equity
Touched on briefly above, another strategy is ensuring your employees know they are allowed to discuss their salaries with co-workers. This is one of the biggest causes of pay gaps – if workers are unaware of what others at their same level are making, they may not take steps to ask for a raise, which can continue the cycle.
Also, make sure you actually know about the pay gaps that exist within your organization. Analyze payroll data and figure out where inequality exists.
In a Glassdoor survey, 67 percent of U.S. employees said they would not want to work at a company where they believe a pay gap exists. So addressing these concerns should be at top of mind for executives and HR professionals.
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