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Proactive Pay Reviews – Your State Has Laws Too!

Thomas J. Carnahan, PhD

Multiple states have laws going into effect on July 1, 2018

Compensation compliance issues of the OFCCP, EEOC, and social justice movements aren’t the only things with which business owners need to be concerned. 49 of the 51 US states (including Washington DC) have adopted their own equal pay legislations which vary in many ways. Some just cover gender and others cover all protected classes. Some require you to submit your compensation data to the state on an annual basis so the state can compile and report on pay equity in the state. Many states make it illegal to lower wages of “outlier” employees to remove pay inequity.

The larger your business, the more complex it will be to keep tabs on which laws, policies, procedures, and strategies you are required to follow from location to location. Small and medium enterprises have different struggles as you might also not stay fully engaged with changing legislations that get signed into law by various governors throughout the country and what these new laws might have to change the way you do business with your employees.

Did you know that there are 19 states that allow your employees to discuss openly how much they get paid and are fully protected against any discrimination or retaliation from the employer for doing so? How about this one, did you know that there are currently 8 states that strongly encourage all businesses within their jurisdiction to begin your own proactive self-evaluation of your compensation program to identify and fix any pay inequities before the state department of labor requests data and levies potential fines that are up to double the pay inequity?

As turmoil created from instability at the top federal level is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, many states are starting to take it upon themselves to “clean up” pay inequity in their state to be seen as an inclusive state that protects employees. Only 2 states (Alabama and Mississippi) currently have no laws on the books concerning Equal Pay for Equal Work. So…how sure are you that you’re knowledgeable of and following all of the laws related to compensation practices in each of the states that you house employees?

We can help.

Our compensation team does monthly research to identify new legislature, determine the likelihood of the bill passing and getting signed, and analyze any potential effects on how you do business. Just this week, we alerted our clients that to do business in Massachusetts and New Jersey of laws that are being enacted on July 1st with regard to their new responsibilities and how they can protect themselves from any potential lawsuit from their state government’s department of labor. Not only have we alerted, but we are working with many of them to begin proactive compensation reviews under attorney client privilege to keep them safe. We’ve been a trusted partner for our clients over 20 years. And we’ll be yours too.

Below is a partial list of states and those who we have identified as having strong laws specific to Pay Equity.

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