Equal Pay Day For All?

Last week we had ‘ Equal Pay Day’ as an official day to recognize variations in pay between men and women. www.dol.gov/equalpay.   So I’d like to comment on the matter as a person involved with the issue for many years. I choose not to say how many, for fear you might discriminate against me, a person in a protected class.

This a no-brainer and an issue that should have been put to bed a long time ago.  It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about women or minorities or maybe even in the two tier pay systems that are developing as companies are trying to get costs under control to remain competitive in an international market.  The basic issue is fairness that seems to be raised in just about any context, whether we are talking about pay, taxes, being in the 1%, job opportunities, profiling for speeding tickets or airport security. 

The issue happens because a new group of people come into play, or a new circumstance develops that must be considered.  Almost in any case the solution of how it is handled becomes the critical factor.  People want to be handled in the same manner as those perceived to have the better circumstance. Those who do have the better circumstance believe they earned it and programs designed to bring equality are ‘give-aways’ and not fair.


So is there a solution? Maybe not, or at least not one that is 100% acceptable to everyone.  However, I believe there are some critical steps that might be in the right direction in every case.

         1. Admit there is a problem

         2. Commit to resolving the issue

         3. Determine a reasonable timeframe for implementing the solution.

         4. Concentrate on the transition process.
            (This is the one most often over looked)

For example in the case of unequal pay.  If pay is distributed based on a standard process that is tied to the same base for all employees (not their salary), over time the inequities will be minimized.  Starting salaries for women or minorities may be different based on what they bring to the job, but what they do on the job has to be viewed impartially and paid accordingly. That becomes fair, and over time you achieve equality.


Got a good and fair solution – please share it. Perhaps we can add it to our up-coming Comp Basics program under construction.



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    Ardon Schambers has 39 years of professional HR experience and is a Principal of P3HR Consulting & Services, LLC

    Mike Blake has over 15 years of safety and leadership experience in industry with extensive transportation expertise.

    Jim Kohmescher worked in both the private and public sectors in human resource management positions. He has a Master's degree and served as an adjunct college instructor.


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