“Let’s Go Girls” – Recent Trends Towards Equal Pay for Equal Work

The glass ceiling will be cracking a bit more this year. Although the pay gap unfortunately still exists, these are “ever changing times”. For example, NYC is amending its law to combat pay inequities and the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) settled its gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). In addition to getting to write about soccer (one of our favorite topics of conversation), we also get to discuss some learning lessons and business pointers for you all. No inhibitions, make no conditions … and enjoy.

Did you forget about me, Mr. Duplicity?

Yes, female soccer players can bend it like Beckham, so they should be compensated accordingly (the USWNT has indeed won four World Cups). The USWNT has been in an almost six-year legal battle against the USSF concerning their paystubs, which are significantly less than their counterparts over on the men’s national team. Their claims, which alleged violations of Title VII and the Equal Pay Act, recently settled for $24 million.

The settlement also included USSF’s agreement to commit to equal pay moving forward for the women’s and men’s national teams. This is not just a major victory for the women’s team, but a positive step toward holding organizations accountable for ensuring equal pay. Victories on and off the field for the USWNT!

NYC Combats Pay Inequity with Salary Transparency

Speaking of equal pay, now seems like a good time to discuss NYC’s new law aimed at combatting pay inequity. Starting May 15, 2022, NYC employers with four or more employees must disclose minimum and maximum salary ranges when advertising for a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity.

Employers who fail to comply can face fines as high as $125,000.00. Although the law does not define “salary” or otherwise distinguish between remote workers and on-site employees, employers should nevertheless be transparent to avoid risking liability. The law will not apply to staffing firms or temporary positions, but will apply to individuals hired as independent contractors.

If you’re an employer covered by this, what do you do? Start reviewing your hiring practices, determining what the salary ranges should be for positions you intend to fill, create job descriptions and further define positions, train your employees and staff members on compliance, and consider conducting a pay equity audit for your business. If you learn of a pay gap, are there legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for unequal pay of equal positions? How will you justify and explain to some employees why others are making more? Employees will certainly have some questions about their compensation, and there’s a whole slew of things that you, you, you oughta know.

For those of you who may need help figuring out where to start, as always, if you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

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