HR News

Pay Transparency Laws Go into Effect Across the Country

New legislation makes it mandatory for businesses in these states to disclose pay information.

By Zee Johnson

NOV 22 – The topic of pay transparency is picking up steam. Earlier this month, New York City passed legislation mandating salary ranges be posted on city job ads, affecting millions of workers. And other states are soon to follow.

California’s S.B. 1162 law which is also requiring nearly 200,000 companies with 15 or more employees to disclose pay ranges on in-state job ads, is slated to go into effect January 2023. Maryland, Colorado, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are some of the states that have already passed similar laws.

These laws are being made with the intention of making pay equitable for all workers in hopes of closing the race and gender pay gaps. Wilson Tower Watson’s 2022 Pay Clarity Survey found that while only 17% of North American companies currently post salary ranges for U.S. locations, even if not mandated, 62% are either planning or considering doing so in the future.

Tanya Jansen, co-founder of beqom, a cloud-based provider of total compensation and continuous performance management solutions, says that pay transparency can help instill a culture of honesty and trust. “Transparency creates a strong sense of fair pay, which many workplaces lack,” she says. “In fact, [we] found that over half (55%) of Americans say they’ve been pressured by their bosses to keep their earnings private from their co-workers, creating a culture of mistrust and secrecy.”

And those companies who opt out of complying will have to pay up. In New York City, any business that fails to comply with the new law could receive a civil penalty of up to $250,000 per unresolved violation.

Ultimately, Jansen sees the laws as a sure way to attract quality talent. “Pay transparency can be used as a tool to attract and retain talent, helping organizations fill existing talent gaps,” she says. “Since six in 10 (61%) Americans are more likely to apply for a job that includes a salary in the job posting, organizations willing to share pay information with candidates from the start of the hiring process are more likely to fill open positions.”

Nearly Half of Gen Z Living with Parents Due to Inflation

38% of Gen Zers are concerned about purchasing food and staple items. 

By Zee Johnson

NOV 16 – A new Harris Poll from DailyPay reveals that inflation and the economic downturn has taken a big toll on Gen Zers, so much so that 44% have decided to live with their parents—and 48% say they aren’t moving any time soon. 

The study of more than 300 Gen Z adults aged between 18 and 25 found that the demographic is having a hard time staying financially stable and just 28% say they are able to pay all of their bills on time. This is compared to 56% of Americans who say they are able to do so. 

Forty-one percent believe it will be tougher to pay bills like utilities, medical, credit cards, and insurance due to inflation and 80% think the economy won’t get any better and say it will stay the same or get worse within the next year. Another 38% are concerned that purchasing food and other staples will also become more challenging.  

Financial difficulties have made saving for the future extremely difficult, too. Seventy-eight percent say they’ve either saved less money compared to last year, the same amount or haven’t been able to save at all.  

But some see their current financial situation as only being temporary. Just one-third think current inflation will make it more challenging for them to purchase a home and only 20% are worried that paying for healthcare for parents/family members will be more difficult. Another 21% think that the economy will begin improving over the next year. 

One solution that the poll found was altering the timing in which the group is compensated. Seventy-two percent of respondents said that having access to their pay every day and not having to wait until a scheduled payday would help with monthly expenses and paying their bills on time. 

The Economy is Driving these HR Trends

On the brink of a recession, three workforce trends are likely to emerge and make a big impact.

By Michelle Hay of Sedgwick

On the surface, it would appear the labor force imbalance is lessening: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July report showed a total reabsorption of jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. And while The Conference Board says the ratio of job openings to hires remains historically high, this ratio is likely to lower by the end of the year.

In tandem with the headline-making push to return to work are visible efforts by companies to improve employee engagement. Perhaps now more than ever, companies see employee engagement as the result of cultivating, connecting, motivating, and nurturing talent. HR can impact engagement through the experiences provided to workers and colleagues. In many ways, creating a measurable employee experience is beginning to mirror how companies think about their customer experience.

One of the more interesting insights to come out of the post-pandemic labor market has been that while recruitment is up, U.S. labor force productivity scores are down. Employee engagement, too, is trending down across companies, according to Gallup research.

Looking closely, what’s really emerged in the current market is a glut of disengagement. With a mild recession likely toward the end of the year and into 2023, it’s worth considering how companies can deepen the employee experience while maintaining high productivity. Changes on the horizon include a shift in the employer-employee social contract; a stronger emphasis on meaning and belonging led primarily by managers; and advancements in automation.

Here’s what to expect as organizations enter the second half of 2022.

Employees Will Return to the Office

If there is a recession in the second half of 2022 and layoffs begin, the balance of power between employers and employees will begin to shift. There will be less “quiet quitting” – and companies will likely take the opportunity to bring employees back into the office more days per week, which will increase engagement and connection in some circumstances, and in turn drive up productivity.

People are social beings and want to connect. For employers, that connection leads to engagement. The main difference in the labor market going into a potential 2022 recession versus past downturns is that there are more workers who are disengaged and not exhibiting discretionary effort. By building genuine connections, companies can combat high levels of disengagement and attrition and increase productivity.

While recruitment is up, U.S. labor force productivity scores are down.

The Key is in People Leaders

The future of engagement lies in creating an employee experience that rivals customer experience. People leaders are the key to ensuring that employees feel connected and are engaged. HR can develop programming and training, but people leaders must understand that a big part of their role is creating an environment where employees feel involved.

At Sedgwick, for instance, the development of a “People Leader Community” as well as employee resource groups (ERGs) are driving the employee experience at work. The “People Leader Community” is an extension of the company’s intranet where managers can share team wins and anecdotes of connectedness and collaboration. Watercooler chat sessions, FaceTime breaks, and virtual dinners are examples of get-togethers that yield gratitude and pride among colleagues.

The “People Leader Community” extends as well to leadership circles as an informal, intimate peer group of front-line leaders who meet monthly to discuss leadership topics, to develop skills, and to strengthen trust and deepen connections.

The formulation of global ERGs has contributed to advancing the DEI strategy and the success of the business by helping to raise DEI awareness, foster colleague engagement and inclusion, and build community and a sense of belonging.

In the end, it’s all about connection and understanding employee needs. It’s a people leader’s number one job to understand what their team members want and what motivates them. It is more challenging in an environment where teams are not co-located, but it can be done with intentionality.

Automation Could Replace Disengaged Workers

Typically during recessions, there is an emphasis on increasing productivity through technology and automation. Potentially entering a recession where productivity is down with more disengaged employees is not a great combination. These interesting times will likely lead to an acceleration of investments in automation.

Entering a recession means companies need to be more productive and more efficient. This trend is already happening at some companies: Diminished patience with workers who are not putting in discretionary effort is resulting in layoffs.

In a tightened labor market, high-performing, engaged talent may still be able to negotiate some incentives – wages are likely to stay elevated, for example – but automation is a very possible long-term solution for gaps in productivity that have emerged in recent years.

Industry Insights