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The End of Pay Secrecy?


Sarah Moore was quoted in Human Resource Executive on February 4, 2016. The article “The End of Pay Secrecy?” discussed employers are under pressure to divulge salary information.

That bedlam can be avoided by adopting an approach in which salary information is accompanied by the opportunity to ask questions, learn more about the connection between pay and performance, and map out a plan for increasing their own earning potential, said Sarah.

"To the extent that you can have a conversation with the employees and provide each of them a context for where they are in the scheme of things, that's always a preferred approach, rather than just putting it up on the bulletin board," she noted.

While conventional wisdom may frown on such activities -- and some employers might seek to squelch them -- they could have no choice but to accept pay transparency as a component of the 21st century workplace. Legally speaking, said Sarah, employees have every right to tell anyone they choose how much they make. Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act makes it legal for employees to discuss the terms and conditions of their employment with each other. That includes salary and benefits.

The end of pay secrecy is inevitable, said Sarah. She advised employers to get in front of the issue and begin laying the groundwork for a smooth transition into the world of pay transparency.

"The first step is to make sure the most-valued employees are compensated in a manner that is reflective of objective fairness so that when that information is rolled out, they don't have a situation where a lot of angry people feel burned and ready to walk out the door," she noted. "The key is to make sure it's done in a measured way, keeping an eye on retention of the most valued employees and recognizing you are going to have some people who just aren't happy regardless."

To read the full article, please visit Human Resource Executive.


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