Knowing whether you’re getting paid fairly for the work you do is a mystery shrouded in lack of information. However, that could change, and payment transparency could be a catalyst. There is a growing trend for companies to disclose what a job opening or current position pays, whether voluntarily or because governments require it.
NAVIGATION WAGE RANGES
So far, about a dozen states and municipalities have mandated access to salary information, including California, Colorado, Washington and New York City. Companies in jurisdictions are usually required to publish salary ranges with minimum and maximum salaries. The rules are different. Sometimes only job applicants need to be informed, while in other cases current employees may also request information about their pay range.
Roberta Matuson, president of Matuson Consulting in Boston, consults with companies seeking top talent. He believes payment transparency is “a step in the right direction.”
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“Knowledge is power. So, you know, if you had no idea you could make more money, you wouldn’t even ask for it,” Matuson says.
THIS IS THE END OF SALARY NEGOTIATION.
Pay transparency won’t eliminate salary negotiations, says Lexi Clark, vice president of people at Payscale, a national provider of compensation data and services. Instead, Clark says, it will encourage discussions of current and future salary expectations.
It will help employees and candidates “understand what their expectations should be and where the (salary) limits are and where there can be flexibility. It levels the playing field between employers and candidates to have a more open and transparent conversation,” he says.
And Lulu Seikali, Payscale’s senior corporate attorney, points out that under current law, employers are not barred from offering higher pay than the job range, as long as the company can provide objective reasons for the exception.
In the past, companies often based salary offers on what an individual earned in their previous jobs, Seikali said. “Many states have banned it now.”
If a potential employer asks about your salary history, Matuson says: “I would not refuse to answer, I would say. I would just turn the question around.”
PAYMENT GAINS WILL BE ABOLISHED.
Pay transparency reveals pay ranges, but does it narrow gender and ethnic gaps? It may be too early to tell.
However, Payscale’s Clarke says organizations that are more open about pay often have well-defined compensation structures and are less likely to have pay inequities.
He predicts how the gender wage gap can be reduced. “Women’s salary will increase as much as it should be. the wages of some overpaid men may be reduced a little to be more in line with where they should be.’
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