In 2017, Oregon passed the Equal Pay Act. The goal of the act is to ”shrink the stubborn pay gaps between genders, races and those in other protected classes by expanding protections for people who are regularly discriminated against, and by encouraging companies to proactively examine their own pay practices before a lawsuit is filed.” Wow, this is great. But not many of us understand everything the Act entails. This is because Oregon has not yet begun to enforce it, but will do so starting in January 2019.
Now is the time for both employees and employers to learn about this Act—what it means and how to ensure compliance with the new mandates.
Simply put, under the new law, it is unlawful to pay one employee more compensation—which includes wages, bonuses, fringe benefits, or equity-based compensation—than another employee for work of comparable character. Comparable work is defined as “work that is substantially similar in knowledge, skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions.”
All Oregon employers with two or more employees (except the Federal Government) are subject to this law, and all Oregon employees will benefit from this new law—without regard to their age, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status or disability status.
The Equal Pay Act of 2017 allows employers to pay employees performing comparable work differently only if the pay differential is based upon a seniority system, a merit system, a production quality of quantity system, travel requirements, education requirements, training, experience or a combination of the aforementioned. This means employers must implement and adhere to a clearly outlined compensation system that can be proven to not discriminate against any employee doing comparable work.
Here are some steps employers should take to prepare for January 2019:
1. Review current positions and employee compensation for potential problems and inequities
2. Identify compensation discrepancies and resolve them
3. Implement a consistent compensation system
4. Create a system that re-evaluates positions and employees at least once every three years
When reviewing and analyzing current positions and employee compensation, employers have several options, including: 1) hire a consultant to perform the analysis; 2) utilize internal support to manually conduct the analysis; or 3) utilize a new software called Parity Software: Pay Equity Solution.
Parity Software is an affordable and automated software program that provides employers with consistent analysis and reporting to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Act. With this efficient, user-friendly interface, employers can also perform the required three-year repeat compensation analysis with minimal user interaction. And, as an added-value, employers will also be able to generate job descriptions and job postings based on already existing positions.
Interested in a demonstration???? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org