Pay Secrecy Bill Debated In Legislative Committee
How much money do you make? For a lot of us, that's a very private subject and we'd rather not discuss the issue in open company. Well, maybe that's just me that doesn't like to discuss my pay in public.
The reason I say that is there is a proposed bill that the House Labor Committee is going to hear debate on today concerning the rights of employees to discuss their pay with their peers.
The particular focus of this issue is not so much the discussion of pay among employees as it is about employers using such a discussion as a reason to reprimand or terminate an employee. Let's face it, employers don't like employees talking to each other about money. It leads to a lot of discourse in the workplace. It could also expose some very damaging policies within that business.
Let's speculate, shall we? For argument's sake, let's assume we have a male and a female employee that are both employed in the exact same capacity. They both have similar experience and similar tenure in the company. Let's say the female is making several hundred or several thousand dollars less than her male counterpart. If she is armed with this information she might have reason to bring charges against her employer.
That's why employers aren't really for this legislation. The basic stand from employers and lobby groups that have been formed to protect businesses say there are laws against pay discrimination on the books already. However, one cannot prosecute discrimination unless it is known to exist.
Under the laws as they read today the female in our example could actually be reprimanded or fired for bringing up the issue of her salary versus her contemporary's salary. These policies keep many cases of gender gap pay differences in the dark. In my mind that is not a good thing.
However, I certainly don't want the legislature getting any deeper into the inner workings of our business community. I think that is just asking for trouble. The only people that will be making bank because of this proposed legislation would be the lawyers. They almost always seem to be the only ones that profit off the back of everybody.
Here's my nutty idea. How about equal pay for equal work? What a concept. It's called doing the right thing. Unfortunately, I don't think our legislators or certain business owners and operators are familiar with that particular concept.