In a similar vein, equal work for equal pay is something that strikes a chord of justice in our thinking. Recently Congress has been getting ready to insert itself into the offer negotiations between employer and candidate.
The Paycheck Fairness Act is a piece of legislation winding its way through legislation. It would authorize the Department of Labor to compare pay between various jobs through publishing guidelines. The intent is to address compensation discrimination. While being for “comparable worth” is attractive in theory, there are serious flaws with this approach. Some highlights:
* This legislation expands penalties in discrimination cases, but gives little to employers to defend themselves against such accusations. There is no evidence of industry-wide collusion of employers to discriminate on the basis of gender or race.
* Proponents argue that there is discrimination because women or people of color tend to hold certain jobs. This fails to account for the possibility that the jobs themselves are not valued, not the people that do them. Gaps in wages do exist, but this in and of itself does not give evidence of discrimination.
* This legislation will lead to the employers’ confidentiality of salary data being eroded. This hurts their ability to compete with each other at the local and global level.
* Complexity in the wage gap theory is not addressed. Charts such as this one do little to explain things like:
o Regional differences, type of work experience, time in the work force etc. can be influencing factors.
o Women tend to work less hours per year and leave the workforce for longer periods than their male counterparts.
Next time you’re negotiating with a candidate on an offer, who knows your business goals and objectives better? You and your hiring manager or the federal government? Can you envision the day where due to the shortage in skilled talent a candidate demands a higher wage than your offer, but you say, “Sorry, federal guidelines say I can’t pay you that much? That is when the government has determined the individual’s worth, not the marketplace.
With the mess the government has made in managing your social security and now financial institutions, do you really think it’s smart to have them give guidance on matters of compensation?
William is the President of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He’s written over 200 HR articles, spoken at over 150 HR & recruiting conferences and he’s conducted over 1000 HR podcasts. William prides himself on being easy to find on The Internet, Google him and connect with him via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Not up to speed in the social media game? Reach out via email.
William serves on the Board of Advisors for Talentegy, Wellocity, GlitchPath, Talent Ninja, Universum Americas, Engagedly, Echovate, VibeCatch, Continu, Hyphen, Bevy, Happie, RolePoint, Causecast, Work4Labs, Talent Tech Labs, and SmartRecruiters. He was previously an advisor to PeopleMatter (sold to Snagajob Q2 2016), Good.Co (sold to StepStone Q1 2016), Smarterer (sold to Pluralsight Q4 2014) and a board member of Chequed (merged to create OutMatch Q3 2015).
William is a graduate of the University of Alabama of Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.