So have you heard this week’s news? According to NPR, “California has a new law intended to fight gender pay disparity by restricting companies from asking certain questions about salary history, and requiring them to reveal more about what they pay.”
This law just went into effect a few days ago – and this pretty huge, folks.
As indicated, one of the main drivers behind this law is to combat gender pay gaps; the well documented, well proven history of the disparity in pay between women and men performing the same job. The beauty of this law is, if they can’t ask you what you’re making, they can’t hold you back from a salary perspective. This law forces companies to pay within the range of the market value of the position. Period. No more blatantly legal stereotyping – at least in California – about men supposedly doing a better job than women, blah, blah, blah. Hallelujah.
California’s not alone. Asking about one’s salary history is now also illegal in these cities and states. This is a groundswell movement happening, and it’s only going to continue. In some cases, companies will need to reveal the salary range of the position in question upfront. While this is par for the course in the public sector, this concept is brand new to private industry.
Now while all of that is truly progress, it pales in comparison to what’s happening in Iceland. According to this article in Thursday’s Washington Post, Iceland’s new law designed to combat gender pay gaps will do the following: “Companies with more than 24 employees will now need to obtain governmental certification that female employees are paid equally for the same work their male colleagues are performing.” Okay… now that is pretty bad ass.
So ladies, so the time is coming when “they” can no longer ask us what our salary history is at all, regardless of where we live. They can’t say, “so, what did you make in your last job?” They can, however, still ask, “So, what are your salary expectations?” which is another hornet’s nest altogether.
So, what’s the best way to answer that “salary expectations” question, given this new world order?
“Pay me like a man.”
For more on the NPR story, you can listen to the clip as heard on All Things Considered here.
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