It’s Equal Pay Day! The holiday, meant to spread awareness about the need to close the wage gap between men and women, comes just weeks after Iceland became the first country in the world to consider requiring businesses to prove they were paying their employees equally.
(Way to go, Iceland!)
If passed, this legislation would mandate that businesses conduct regular audits of their payscales.
If there ends up being a pay difference of more than 5 percent between employees doing the same job, the company would have legal obligation to correct it.
There’s a big reason this matters: In the United States, it’s technically illegal for businesses to pay women less than men for the same work, but very little is done to hold companies accountable to this law.
For example, it’s difficult for U.S. women to even find out they’re making less, because companies aren’t required to disclose that information, and they have created a culture in which it’s considered rude to talk about salary.
Shifting the responsibility of monitoring and enforcing equal pay to the employer would be an absolute game changer – and something the rest of the world could learn a whole lot from.