• Equal Pay Day 2016

    Header_EqualPay_Main Mykkah Herner, MA, CCP, Modern Compensation Evangelist, PayScale

    Happy Equal Pay Day
    It feels odd wishing someone a happy equal pay day. Happy? Equal Pay Day is the day at which women’s wages on the whole catch up to that of men’s wages from the prior year. It’s calculated using the figures about how many cents on the dollar women earn vs men, 78¢. This day has been gaining in visibility over the past couple decades since it began in 1996.

  • Regulatory Compliance Dictates HR Best Practices

    Header_Compliance_MainTess C. Taylor, CPC, PHR, SHRM-CP, PayScale Senior Blogger

    This year, we’ve seen a number of new government rules surrounding pay equity and salary transparency developing. This puts a strain on human resource compensation managers and how they must adapt compensation policies. How well HR can keep up with these changes will dictate the future of compensation planning across all organizations.

  • Total Compensation Update: Mandatory Paid Sick Leave for Contractors

    Header_Main_SickLeave Tess C. Taylor, PHR, SHRM-CP, PayScale Senior Blogger

    Last month, President Barack Obama signed an executive order granting paid sick leave to federal contractors and subcontractors. This order officially goes into effect on January 1, 2017, but companies that employ government contractors are already taking steps to better manage their total compensation programs to accommodate this requirement. What can compensation administrators expect and how can they add value to the types of salary and benefits offered to some our nation’s hardest working people?
  • Paying employees right: What’s the big deal?

    By Crystal Spraggins, SPHR and Katie Bardaro, Director of Analytics and Lead Economist at PayScale

    The President’s proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are still under review, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the whole thing (tempting though that may be). Managing pay reactively generally doesn’t result in the best decisions.

  • Proposed California bill would prohibit employers’ nosy questions about pay

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    It’s not uncommon for employers to require job candidates to supply wage information as part of the application and hiring process. PayScale's eBook Communicating Compensation shares tips for making these types of conversations easier.

  • Will recent pay increases for minimum wage workers affect those in higher earning brackets?

    Co-written by Mykkah Herner, PayScale Comp Specialist and Tess C.Taylor, Founder of HR Knows

    Around the nation, large corporations are taking the minimum wage issue to heart by instituting salary increases for their most underpaid workers.

    Companies like McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Target, and TJX, the parent company of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, have announced plans to raise wages by as much as $1 or more per hour, with more raises coming for the beginning of 2016. This is good news for the millions of entry-level and minimum wage workers who typically earn just above the poverty line in many U.S. states.
  • Gender pay discrimination: The $14.3 million cost of a shattered shame ceiling

    Jade Makana, Director of Content Marketing, B2B

    Charlize Theron got another $10 million. Lily Ledbetter got $3.3 million. And even Ellen Pao, who lost her gender discrimination case, still cost Kleiner Perkins a cool $1 million. (It remains to be seen if she’ll have to pay it back.)

    When it comes to men treating women badly, the last few years has erupted in a tidal wave of women breaking their silence and speaking out. From Bill Cosby to Big Eyes, the biopic of Margaret Keane, an artist who was awarded $4 million after proving her husband took authorship credit for her paintings, women are officially shattering the shame ceiling, and the cost is both unprecedented and stupendous.

  • Unequal pay: legal and practical issues

    Unequal Pay Image

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    In 2009, President Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, his first bill.

    The bill, which extends the time period in which claimants can file pay discrimination claims, was only the beginning of the administration’s concerted effort to bring attention to the issue of unequal pay—whether the inequity is based on gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or some other characteristic protected by law.

  • Temporary foreign workers creating big problems for corporate Canada

    Temporary foreign workers in Canada image

    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    Foreign employees have existed peacefully among Canada’s native workforce for a long time without much conflict, but lately there have been legal struggles over compensation injustice as well as opportunity inequities.

  • The emotionally unsafe workplace: How bullies, tyrants, and narcissists are hurting your business

    Emotionally Unsafe Workplace Image

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, commonly referred to as OSHA, obligates employers to maintain a safe and healthful work environment.

    OSHA’s website states:

    “OSHA's mission is to assure safe and healthful workplaces by setting and enforcing standards, and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. Employers must comply with all applicable OSHA standards. Employers must also comply with the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act, which requires employers to keep their workplace free of serious recognized hazards.”

  • What if everyone’s pay was public knowledge?

    Pay Transparency image

    Imagine if one day you walked into your workplace and found your name, along with all the other names of your co-workers, written on bright Post-it notes and your salary rates clearly written there too? Now, include all the salaries and perks that your supervisors, the CEO, and even the janitor displayed for all to see. How would this experience change the way you view your company?

  • Wage theft -- the employer oops that's got workers fired up

    Wage theft image

    Tessara Smith,  PayScale

    There is a compensation epidemic taking over companies across the nation. It is called wage theft and your organization should avoid it at all costs. By definition, wage theft is the underpayment for money that has been clearly earned. This could mean paying employees less than minimum wage, refusing to compensate them for the hours they have worked, or neglecting to pay them overtime. You would think that most companies would stray from committing such a petty compensation crime, but wage theft is much more common than you think. It makes sense; the less you pay employees the more your company profits when you crunch the numbers at the end of the day. But is raking in more revenue worth causing your employees to be disgruntled or the massive penalties you might face if they decide to band together and file a lawsuit? 

  • Why hiring for diversity still matters

    Hiring for diversity image

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Traditionally, talk about diversity in the workplace has focused on inclusion of people of color and women, particularly within the management ranks.

    And despite how far we’ve come, there’s still a need for those conversations.

    Just last month, Catalyst, a nonprofit organization with a mission to “expand opportunities for women and business,” reported that women hold only “4.8 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions and 5.1 percent of Fortune 1000 CEO positions."

  • The Minimum Wage Victory Parade Continues


    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    Just when you thought Seattle approving $15 was the highlight of the minimum wage battle this year, it was announced that employees who work under independent contracts are also getting a pay day. On June 12, 2014 President Obama initiated the first of many executive actions to come that will boost minimum wage for workers under new federal contracts from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour. This is exciting news for contractors, who will now be properly reclassified as employees in the eyes of the government, but it is only small part of a much larger effort to increase minimum wages for all workers within the United States.

  • Should minimum wage be bumped up to $15 in Toronto?


    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    Minimum wage workers everywhere are beginning to take a stand for higher wages. Inflation is continuing to skyrocket and the salaries of lower level workers don’t seem to be keeping up with this trend.  It is becoming apparent that the annual income of lower level workers is hardly livable not only in the United States, but also in Canada. The salaries of minimum wage employees in Canada are not substantial enough for citizens already struggling to cover the ballooning costs of everything. The longer the gap between inflation and wages goes on, the more citizens are pushing for a pay day. Canadian Labor activists have even gone as far as delivering MPP’s with a block of ice containing $10.25, Ontario’s minimum wage since 2010. The people have made it clear; it is time for sustainable wages to become a reality.

  • Appeals court redefines "the workplace"

    Appeals court redefines the workplace

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to offer reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities who can perform the essential functions of the job. An employer is acting within the law when it provides an accommodation that meets the definition of reasonable, even if the accommodation is not exactly what the employee requested. And, until recently, employers also had one given—showing up for work was pretty much guaranteed to be considered an essential job function.

    Which is not to say that a temporary leave of absence could never be considered a reasonable accommodation. It could and can. However, an employer generally would be within its rights to turn down a request for an open-ended telecommuting arrangement. 

    Again, until recently.

  • How does the changing minimum wage affect your compensation strategy?


    Mykkah Herner, M.A., CCP, PayScale

    There has been a lot of talk about increasing the minimum wage, at the federal, state, and city levels. In Seattle, headquarters of PayScale, we just passed an ordinance increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour within 3-7 years depending on employer size. Of course there has been debate on both sides of the law. Can small business owners afford to absorb the increase? What will happen to the people we used to pay at $15/hour? But also, how can Seattle call itself a forward-thinking city if the minimum wage is not a livable wage? I probably should have been born a Libra because I fundamentally understand both sides.

  • Yes you can still be sued for age discrimination


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    In “The Ugly Truth About Age Discrimination,” author Liz Ryan writes:

    “[Age discrimination] is the only kind of employment discrimination I know of that people talk about openly, either because they’re unaware of the laws preventing it … or because they don’t care.”

    The article opens with a story about Philip, a job seeker turned away by a headhunter who decides Philip is “a little long in the tooth for the job.”

    If you’re tempted to think that Ryan is off the mark and Philip must be a rare case (because how many people in this day and age would dare say such a thing?) you might want to think again.

  • 5 reasons why you need an Employee Assistance Program


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    The first employee assistance programs (EAPs) were established in response to the growing problem of alcoholism among white-collar workers.

    Eventually, however, the programs evolved into what they’re known for today—providing confidential support to employees with mental, financial, childcare, substance abuse, and other personal problems.

  • Can the nuclear family survive on minimum wage – even it if goes up?


    There is a lot of talk about the Federal Minimum Wage and how raising it to $10.10 per hour across the nation could help many more working Americans make ends meet. The question is, if the minimum wage is raised over the next 2 years, will this make a difference to the average nuclear family (Mom, Dad, and 2 kids)?




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