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Governmental Affairs
29

 

YOUR ASSISTANCE IS NEEDED! Please e-mail your senators to OPPOSE S. 3220 <http://msg.shrm.org/site/R?i=MTjvtqw_LsVHXyHx4E3oZw> because it would significantly restrict the way employers of all sizes compensate their employees.

 

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on S. 3220 <http://msg.shrm.org/site/R?i=RtT7Sk0m8Jd81Vmze41gYQ> , the so-called "Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA)," during the week of June 4-8. If enacted, the bill would:

 

*                       significantly restrict the factors HR professionals use to compensate their employees,

*                       authorize the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor to collect wage information from employers, and

*                       encourage employees to publicly disclose their colleagues' wages.

 

Please Take This Action:

Write your U.S. Senators using SHRM's HRVoice program by following these steps:

 

1.                     Log onto the SHRM HRVoice Advocacy Action Center by clicking HERE <http://msg.shrm.org/site/R?i=QDYTTmdd8f2fWjP-HZhnFg>

2.                     Personalize your message with your own story

3.                     Include your home mailing address.

 

Issue

 

HR professionals who manage compensation use their professional judgment to consider a number of legitimate factors in creating fair and equitable compensation systems. These include experience, profitability, merit, productivity, prior salary history and location.  But the PFA would allow the Federal government to second-guess employer pay practices in three primary ways. The PFA would:

 

1.                     Restrict employer flexibility in pay decisions – The PFA would effectively prohibit employers from using many legitimate factors to compensate their employees, including professional experience, education, training, employer need, local labor market rates, hazard pay, shift differentials and the profitability of the organization. The PFA would permit employers to base pay decisions only on production, merit and seniority.

2.                     Require collection of employer wage data – The PFA would authorize the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor to collect compensation data from compensation managers.

3.                     Reduce employee privacy – The PFA would effectively encourage employees to discuss or publicize their co-workers' wages by preventing employer retaliation against an individual who publicly discloses the wages of other employees.

 

Outlook

 

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) introduced S. 3220, the Paycheck Fairness Act, on May 22, 2012. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, but it has not been the subject of a hearing or markup during the current Congress. The Senate plans to vote on S. 3220 during the week of June 4-8.

 

SHRM Position

 

SHRM and its membership are committed to preventing and resolving any form of workplace discrimination, including pay disparities between women and men. SHRM strongly supports the two federal laws that already protect employees from gender-based pay inequity: (1) Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964 and (2) the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA). The proposed Paycheck Fairness Act would amend the Equal Pay Act, which is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

 

SHRM believes that compensation programs should be designed to ensure fair treatment of employees, but should be determined by the market and employer needs, not by the government. Instead, SHRM encourages organizations of all sizes to regularly perform compensation or job evaluation audits to ensure such systems do not discriminate based on gender in order to comply with current federal law.

 

SHRM believes the Paycheck Fairness Act, however well-intentioned, would be an unnecessary expansion of the Equal Pay Act. By significantly restricting the factors used in setting compensation, the Paycheck Fairness Act would threaten the tools that HR professionals use to reward and retain their employees. The bill could lead to employers cutting back on incentive pay programs, because of the pay disparities between employees that would naturally result. The bill would also have a negative impact on employee privacy by encouraging employees to publicize their colleagues' wages.

 

Should you have any questions regarding the Paycheck Fairness Act, please contact Michael Layman, SHRM's Government Relations Senior Associate, at michael.layman@shrm.org.

 

If you encounter any problems with the advocacy site, please contact David Lusk, SHRM's Senior Associate, Member Advocacy, at 703-535-6158.

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