Get to Know the Paycheck Fairness Act

Get to Know the Paycheck Fairness Act

To close the pay gap, we need good public policies at the state, local and federal levels. Encouraging women to negotiate a higher salary doesn’t do much if there are institutional and structural barriers that prevent her from earning her value in the labor market. These barriers include entrenched and institutionalized gender norms and expectations, pay secrecy, policies that allow employers to request salary history, and placing undue burdens on women to prove pay discrimination and limiting the remedies available to them.

The Paycheck Fairness Act Would:

  • Prohibit employers from using salary history which ensures that salaries are not based on prior pay disparities that can follow workers from job to job.
  • Protect against retaliation for discussing pay with colleagues, including stopping employers from being able to fire employees for sharing information. Greater transparency about salary is key to helping identify disparities.
  • Ensure equal pay for equal work, requiring employers to prove that any pay disparities that exist between men and women are a business necessity and job-related.
  • Equalize discrimination claims based on gender, race, and ethnicity, so plaintiffs who file claims under the Equal Pay Act have the same robust remedies as those who make claims under other laws.
  • Support employers and employees to achieve fair pay practices, including providing technical assistance to employers, requiring wage data collection, and offering salary negotiation training programs to give women the tools to advocate for higher wages.

The 2019 Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) is sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). Passing the Act would help accelerate the closing of the pay gap by addressing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963, ensuring that women and men are paid equally for equal work.

For more information, visit AAUW.

Get Your Money: How to Negotiate Your Salary

Get Your Money: How to Negotiate Your Salary

How to Negotiate Your Salary

Do Your Research. Talk to people in your field and go online to search up the going salary for your position.

Toot your own Horn. Come to the discussion prepared to talk about your accomplishments, contributions to the company or the unique skills and talents you bring to the table. Create a brag sheet—a one-page summary of your recent wins.

Play it Smart. In salary negotiations, have a number in mind, but allow the employer make the first offer. Then state your expectation and take it from there.

Start at the Top. If there’s a salary band, start at the top. No need to low ball yourself. It allows wiggle room for negotiation.

Remember salary is only a part of the package. You can negotiate more than salary. Benefits like vacation, retirement contribution, transportation costs, tuition assistance, and schedule flexibility can also be negotiated.

Get out of your head. Negotiating a salary or raise can be anxiety producing. Focus on the reasons why you deserve the raise or desired salary (hint: you’re awesome) and don’t apologize for knowing your worth.

Be patient. Take time to think about an offer and be willing to make a counteroffer if necessary.

Honor your worth. Focus on the big picture and gauge for yourself what is important, when to drop an issue, and how to stay firm but respectful with what you want. If the offer is too low and you won’t be happy, it’s OK to walk away.

To learn more about salary negotiation, sign up for AAUW’s free online course here: https://salary.aauw.org/

Out in the Open: Stopping Work Retaliation Against Salary Sharing

Out in the Open: Stopping Work Retaliation Against Salary Sharing

You understand the importance of salary transparency. You know that you can better advocate for yourself when you know what your coworkers are earning. But what do you do if your employer has policies discouraging or preventing you from sharing salary information? And worse, what do you do if your employer threatens or punishes you for talking about your salary?

Retaliation is a form of employment discrimination or harassment. It can take many forms including but not limited to discipline, demotion, firing, salary reduction, or job or shift reassignment. Salary sharing is a protected activity, meaning it is a federal labor right. But many employers, especially in the private sector, continue to retaliate against employees for discussing salary because the punishment for doing so is insignificant; employers may be forced to provide backpay or rehire wrongfully terminated employees.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would protect workers by strengthening punishments for employers who commit equal pay violations. Support the Paycheck Fairness Act and protect your right to share salary information for collective bargaining.

Spilling the Tea: Why Salary Transparency is Necessary for Pay Equity

Spilling the Tea: Why Salary Transparency is Necessary for Pay Equity

Knowledge is power—especially when it comes to your paycheck. When employers are open about their payscales and criteria for evaluating raises and promotions, employees can make informed decisions about whether they are being paid fairly and whether it is appropriate to negotiate for a higher salary or promotion. This is important for all women, who earn less than men in all but five occupations, but especially important for women of color, for whom the gender wage gap is magnified by a racial and ethnic earnings gap. Employers who promote pay secrecy perpetuate the gender wage gap, as a result of which women earn $0.82 per $1 that their male counterparts earn.

 

Though federal law affirms that workers have a right to discuss their salaries with one another, many employers, particularly in the private sector, have policies that discourage or prohibit sharing salary information. The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen protections for workers who openly discuss their salaries, reveal workplace bias and disparity in pay, and put the impetus on employers to prove that any pay discrepancies are a business necessity. By passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, workers can hold employers accountable and make sure they are earning what they deserve.