Mon. May 23rd, 2022

Last month, New York City Council passed a bill requiring companies with four or more employees to include a pay range in any job description. The law will enter into force in April.

The purpose of the bill – passed by a majority of 41 to 7 – is to reduce wage inequalities, especially those that often affect women and people of color.

The measure, which does not apply to domestic help, is the result of more than ten years of advocacy.

“It took quite a long time to raise awareness about the pay gap, about pay discrimination,” said Beverly Neufeld, president and founder of PowHer New York, a nonprofit organization that aims to promote economic equality for women.

The law follows a wave of legislation nationwide that requires employers to be more transparent about a job’s pay range. Colorado, for example, requires job postings to include salaries, benefits and bonuses. States including California, Washington, Connecticut, Nevada and Maryland have also enacted wage transparency laws in recent years.

According to Neufeld, although the move will most benefit those workers whose wages have been held back by systemic racism, sexism and abilities, its positive impact will be universal.

“It will help all workers, but it will also help all companies, especially people who have been disadvantaged by the system,” she said. “And it’s typically women and people of color who you know have been exposed to conscious and unconscious biases in wage setting.”

Because wage transparency laws are relatively new in the United States, it can be difficult to measure the exact economic impact on women and coloreds. But there are other initiatives we can look at, said Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

Take, for example, wage history bans, which prevent employers from asking job candidates about their previous compensation.

“Let’s say you’ve experienced discrimination in the past. This prior payroll information should not be taken into account when deciding what an employer should offer you, ”Gould said.

And the biggest benefits of such laws? Women and colored.

Gould said we can also look at the impact of the general schedule, the pay scale, which dictates the salaries of most federal employees.

“The gender pay gap is smaller in the federal workforce than it is in the private sector,” she said, adding that similar trends can be noted in union-affiliated workplaces, where there is often more pay transparency.

Specifying salary ranges in job descriptions is not only beneficial for potential job applicants who would otherwise make their value during the job interview process. Knowing what people are getting paid to do the same work in other companies can be a tool that workers use to renegotiate wages with their current employers.

“People underestimate how much other people get paid, which means they might underestimate their value in the market,” Gould said.

Some companies and firms are starting to publish job ads with pay intervals in them more often, regardless of whether the laws on pay transparency apply to them. That’s a good thing, Neufeld said, especially during the Great Resignation. It can make employees more informed and show how much companies value the work their employees do. In that way, it also suggests the company’s culture.

“It reflects their desire to be transparent and fair, and it shows respect for workers,” Neufeld said. “And I think we find that companies do better when they follow these best practices.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.