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Detailed Data May Not Be Enough To Close Gender Pay Gap

10.6.16

The article, “Detailed Data May Not Be Enough To Close Gender Pay Gap,” featured on NPR, discussed how many companies are now investigating whether their own data shows they pay men and women differently for similar work.

Cheryl Behymer weighed in on how to fix the gender pay gap.

Cheryl said the process is not simple because many employers keep databases with workers' demographic information separate from payroll information — precisely because it does not want to encourage pay discrimination.

She said previous efforts by regulators to require federal contractors to disclose pay data failed because the information could be misleading.

For example, she said, say someone worked a night shift that earns more than working dayside. "That could look like there's discrimination potentially present, when in fact none actually exists," she said.

False positive and false negative results could lead to worker lawsuits, which are already on the rise. She cautioned clients to keep pay data information closely held.

"We wouldn't want the employer to have something that could be used against it as an admission that there was an inequity that required adjustment," Cheryl said.

To read the full article, please visit NPR.

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