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Pay Fairness Audit and Pay Transparency

pay equity auditIt’s turning into clear that pay transparency just isn’t a passing pattern.

Pay transparency is the apply of an employer brazenly speaking pay-related data by way of established strategies to present and potential staff. In 2021, Colorado was the primary jurisdiction to enact pay transparency legal guidelines. Since then, extra states and localities have enacted such legal guidelines; by the beginning of 2023, a fifth of all U.S. employees have been coated underneath pay transparency legal guidelines. The nationwide normalization of pay transparency is main employers to prioritize pay fairness.

Moreover, the current dramatic enhance in equal pay litigation, typically leading to multimillion-dollar settlements, has extra employers addressing pay fairness points.

Regardless of this elevated focus, many employers could not know the place to start when implementing pay fairness measures. For many employers, using pay fairness audits is the possible reply. These audits is usually a highly effective instrument for employers to guage and guarantee they adjust to federal, state, and native pay fairness legal guidelines.

This text offers a broad overview of pay fairness and discusses the significance of pay fairness audits.

What Is Pay Fairness?

Pay fairness is the apply of compensating staff the identical once they carry out the identical or related job duties whereas accounting for elements comparable to expertise, job efficiency, and tenure. This apply takes under consideration all types of compensation, comparable to wage, extra time pay, bonuses, inventory choices, revenue sharing and bonus plans, life insurance coverage, trip and vacation pay, cleansing or gasoline allowances, resort lodging, reimbursement for journey bills, and different advantages.

Staff’ proper to be free from discrimination of their compensation is protected underneath a number of federal legal guidelines, together with the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the People with Disabilities Act of 1990. For instance, the EPA requires that women and men be given equal pay for equal work in the identical institution. The roles needn’t be equivalent, however they have to be considerably related. It’s job content material, not job titles, that determines whether or not jobs are considerably related. Particularly, the EPA offers that employers could not pay unequal wages to women and men who carry out jobs that require considerably equal talent, effort, and accountability and which can be carried out underneath related working situations inside the similar institution.

Why Is Pay Fairness Vital?

Guaranteeing staff are paid equitably might help enhance organizational effectivity, productiveness, and profitability. Employers who prioritize pay fairness could expertise the next advantages:

  • Improved workforce productiveness and morale
  • Elevated organizational dedication
  • Decreased worker turnover
  • Elevated attraction of key expertise
  • Decreased dangers of discrimination or pay inequity lawsuits
  • Better compliance with equal pay legal guidelines and laws

What Is a Pay Fairness Audit?

A pay fairness audit is the method of analyzing compensation information of staff doing related work inside a company. It may be an efficient instrument for offering employers with data to determine pay disparities amongst employees. Performing pay fairness audits might help employers decide if any pay discrepancies are based mostly on respectable, nondiscriminatory causes, comparable to seniority or training. If pay discrepancies can’t be defined by nondiscriminatory causes, the audit permits employers to right them.

The aim of pay fairness audits goes past simply figuring out whether or not pay disparities exist however helps clarify why they exist. This could embrace reviewing particular pay choices and insurance policies. Such audits might help employers consider and enhance their compensation practices, deal with pay gaps and restrict potential authorized dangers. In some states, conducting a self-audit of pay practices can shield employers in opposition to authorized claims based mostly on pay inequities.

Advantages of Pay Fairness Audits

Pay fairness audits might help organizations determine and proper pay discrepancies, lowering potential authorized dangers. They will additionally enhance worker morale and productiveness. Guaranteeing staff are paid equitably for his or her work helps strengthen a company’s tradition. Worker morale, turnover, retention charges, and efficiency typically enhance when employees really feel valued. Paying staff the identical once they carry out the identical or related jobs is a vital part of serving to employees really feel valued, which might result in typically extra dedicated and productive staff. In flip, this helps drive organizational productiveness and profitability.

Moreover, pay fairness audits might help employers develop higher office insurance policies and procedures associated to compensation. This could embrace establishing constant beginning pay ranges, elements for advantage will increase and promotions, in addition to different incentives. Audit outcomes may inform an employer’s coaching efforts to make sure truthful pay choices are made all through the group.

Dangers of Pay Fairness Audits

Whereas a company’s intentions behind conducting pay fairness audits are sometimes noble – figuring out whether or not pay disparities are lawful and, if not, correcting them – audit outcomes may be extraordinarily damaging if disclosed. Inadvertent disclosure of audit outcomes or evaluation can hurt a company’s status and expose it to lawsuits or different authorized motion.

To guard in opposition to these potential dangers, many employers make the most of the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrine when conducting pay fairness audits. Employers can do that by partaking authorized counsel to provoke and lead the audit. Employers may decide how greatest to speak pay fairness audit outcomes to their staff and incorporate these outcomes into organizational pay practices.


Conducting pay fairness audits may be an efficient manner to make sure staff are paid equitably for the work they do. Nevertheless, these audits are sometimes solely step one for addressing pay fairness points within the office.

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Pay Fairness Audit from GTM

In case you’re wanting to make sure your staff are being compensated pretty and equally, GTM’s HR consultants might help you construct a aggressive and equitable compensation plan that’s cost-effective, aggressive, and present. Fill out the temporary type beneath to be taught extra.


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