November 2, 2017 | Sherry Seaton
Last year a new pay equity initiative was signed into law in California. The law, which took effect on January 1, 2017, was a huge step towards gender equality and closing the wage gap. This new law has passed in several other states, including Massachusetts, Delaware, New York, and Oregon and is currently being reviewed in many more.
Employers across the country should know their state’s current Equal Pay Act and be aware of recent or upcoming amendments as it impacts requirements for recordkeeping, disclosure, anti-retaliation and what constitutes “equal” work.
Designed to help prevent pay disparity from following women from job to job, the new Pay Equity Act is especially significant for recruiters and hiring managers. The law greatly impacts compensation discussions, and every recruiter and hiring manager should understand and be aware of the following when discussing compensation with any candidate:
While not being able to directly ask about current salary and salary history is a big change for hiring managers and recruiters, it doesn’t mean meaningful compensation conversations can’t happen, or that candidates completely control the conversation.
Good recruiters know all the requirements of the Pay Equity Act and how to have an effective conversation about salary with the law in mind. As an employer, you’ll want to make sure your hiring managers are aware of the law and select a recruiting firm that is well-trained and experienced in comp conversations since the change in requirements of the law.
While we recommend being familiar with the specifics of your state’s Equal Pay Act, here are some general tips for having valuable compensation discussions with candidates under the new law:
As long as you, your recruiters and hiring managers know the requirements of the most current Equal Pay Act, there is nothing wrong with asking candidates compensation-related interview questions. Remember, the person asking the questions controls the conversation.
When hiring a recruiting firm to help you fill positions, it’s a good idea to ask them how familiar they are with your state’s Equal Pay Act and how they approach comp conversations with candidates. A recruiter that knows how to discuss compensation effectively under the law and gets you the information you need is an asset, one that does not is a liability.