Would More Salary Transparency Have Helped Lilly Ledbetter?
Last week, the first piece of legislation President Obama signed into law was the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Ms. Ledbetter had filed suit against Goodyear, alleging her Goodyear Salary was less than her male counterparts, many of whom she had trained during her nearly 20-year tenure and had far less seniority.
Ms. Ledbetter had won a pay discrimination suit but that was later thrown out by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision, citing she should have filed suit 180 days after she was first paid less than her male counterparts. The new law expands workers’ rights to sue in this kind of case, and relaxed the statute of limitations, restarting the six-month clock every time the worker receives a paycheck. Some say the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act isn’t enough. Some say it could make suits worse.
We think this is an important move to address unjustified pay inequality, but we’re still left with the burning question, How do people really know if they are fairly paid or underpaid for the work they do?
Ms. Ledbetter only found out about the pay discrepancy as her career at Goodyear was drawing to a close. There’s still no easy mechanism for people to find out if their pay is equitable. This gap is the fundamental reason we created Glassdoor.com. We want to open all the doors and windows and let the salary genies out of the bottle for everyone to see. Only when people have access to real information can they arm themselves with data to correct any inequity wrongs that might be present at a workplace.
If you haven’t taken that step yet, we encourage you to do so now. Fill out a salary survey for any job you’ve had in the past three years. Let’s all come together to make salary and compensation more transparent for everyone, everywhere.