Quite simply, pay equity describes the administering of equal pay to jobs of equal value. This ensures that employees can’t be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, or family status. If an employer is suspected of not maintaining pay equity, they are liable to face legal persecution. As an employee under their power, you might seek legal services, including mediation services, to ensure that you and your colleagues are being paid fairly.
With this being said, what do you need to know about workplace pay equity? Here are 8 essentials on pay equality:
1. It Is A Human Right
First thing’s first, it is important to recognise that pay equity is a human right. Regardless of who you are, how you live, and what you believe, you should be paid the same as those in equal value roles. Your background should in no way affect the paycheque that you receive at the end of the month.
2. Why Equal Pay Is Important
As of recent, gender and racial pay gaps have started to receive attention, resulting in strikes and other forms of resistance. In the US, a woman typically earns 82 cents for every dollar that a man makes. In order to create an equal working world, this gap needs to be eliminated.
3. The Legal Obligations As An Employer
When it comes to maintaining pay equity, employers have certain legal obligations. In order to adhere to such, they might hire an employment lawyer to draft various documents. These include contracts, compensation packages, and termination agreements. As well as this, an employment lawyer will represent companies should they face legal persecution.
4. Employee Motivation
The Pay Equity Act states that employers must assess if jobs held by women are earning less than men in the same position. As a result, it becomes more likely that certain jobs will be subject to salary increases. Consequently, the employees are motivated as they feel that they’re held to an equal standard.
5. Pay Equity Committees
Under the Pay Equity Act, it’s required that a pay equity committee is formed, consisting of employees and employers alike. This is to ensure that pay equity processes are properly carried out. This committee should also consist of people from all backgrounds to guarantee that each group is getting represented within the company. The committee should meet every five years as a minimum.
6. Explaining Pay Discrepancies
If employees in the same role do have a discrepancy between their pay, this won’t be considered inappropriate if it can be explained with legitimate and non-discriminatory reasoning. For example, if one employee has more experience, is better qualified, or has more responsibility, these are all acceptable explanations. However, if such discrepancies can’t be explained, these will need to be addressed further.
7. Documentation Of Pay Decisions
All pay decisions should be documented to ensure that pay equity is being maintained. Without this, employers and employees alike may forget reasoning for shifts in pay, and pay decisions may not hold up in court.
8. Filing Complaints
If an employee finds that they’re being unfairly paid, they can file a complaint under the Pay Equity Act. This can also be done if they feel that their employer is interfering with or influencing the employees within the committee. The committee will then assess this case and take the appropriate action from there. If such an issue doesn’t get resolved, the employee is able to seek legal action. Lawsuits can be filed by employees seeking compensation for financial or emotional damages.
Ultimately, pay equity is extremely important when it comes to the implementation of human rights in the workplace. In its absence, billions of employees across the globe would be subject to discrimination. We need equal pay all the way!