Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Costco Salaries Online

I've been searching for tools to make payroll processes transparent. I came across this list of Costco salaries -- all posted anonymously. I'm not sure if this was done by an outside third party or if the process is blessed by Costco internally. Either way, it gives employees and potential employees an idea of where they fit or could fit in terms of pay within the organization. I think this is a step forward into instilling transparency into payroll processes -- but the goal - in a completely open payroll process is for everyone to know what everyone earns and why. This is the only way to avoid litigation and build trust into the system. Think Lilly Ledbetter -- who found out she was paid a great deal less than her male colleagues -- from an anonymous note. Ledbetter's salary and those of her male colleagues were so grossly disproportionate to each other that the only recourse for Mrs. Ledbetter was to sue her employer. The problem would never have escalated to that level if her employer were open and honest about pay. Time to stop hiding behind payroll secrecy. And, can we please get rid of pay bands while we're at it! But, that's for another post.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Word About Minnesota Pay Equity Practices is Getting Around and Some Folks Don't Like It

This article (click above) and the latest census data is not news. We have always known, in Minnesota, that women and men are paid similarly early on in their careers. We also know that in some tiny markets like Minneapolis, as compared to the country as a whole, young women are fairing better than their male counterparts. The gap widens as women and men progress in their careers for many of the reasons addressed in this anti-pay equity opinion article. The market has a funny way of treating the work that women do. Quite simply the market (a bunch of people making decisions about pay) undervalues the work women do for a gazillion different reasons -- some rational, some irrational.

Let's take a look at this sentence from the opinion piece:

"The state of Minnesota has precisely such a board, which at one time held that a delivery van driver and a clerk typist had to be paid the same wages because they did "equal work." "

I have to say the above sentence is full of inaccuracies -- which I won't address -- except to say that the way pay equity works for local governments in Minnesota is a combination of:

1. similar pay for work of comparable value for each job class
2. market wages,
3. seniority,
4. merit

I think the general public would be bored to tears if I went into the statistical analyses that goes into every pay equity review. You will also be surprised to learn that the 'board' is one person. But if anyone wants to learn the details of what local governments are required to report every 3 years-- and wants to take me out to lunch or have a cup of coffee -- let's talk.