One year ago today, President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law – the first piece of legislation he signed since taking office. Named after a woman who for years was paid significantly less than her male counterparts, the law helps to ensure that workers discriminated on the basis of gender have a fair chance to sue their employers.
However, in just one year, salary and the idea of “fair pay” has changed dramatically for most Americans. Those who were lucky enough to keep their position have had to deal with furlough days, pay cuts, changes in benefits and perks, and longer work days. The need for tangible information on salary is even greater today, as people struggle to fine the “new normal” in today’s economy. And people are looking for that information in droves — for example, as of January 2009, Glassdoor held close to 200,000 salary reports, and that number has nearly quadrupled today. We now have more than 730,000 employee and employer generated salary reports for positions in industries as varied as computer services, healthcare and education.
The need for more information on salary is gaining momentum worldwide, and the United Kingdom is now considering a law that would require companies to share their employee salaries, specifically to address the gender gap in pay. And President Obama has not dismissed the importance of the Ledbetter legislation. In his first State of the Union address on Wednesday he stated, “We are going to crack down on violations of equal pay laws — so that women get equal pay for an equal day’s work.”
Do you feel there is a greater need to know what the “new normal” is for salary? Do you share your salary? Let us know why.