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Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week.
How to comply with equal pay laws
New York state’s broadened equal pay laws will go into effect on Oct. 8, making it the latest jurisdiction in the U.S. to do so. Similar state efforts will also go into effect later this month in Alabama, Maine and Illinois. New York’s new law will require equal pay for “substantially similar work,” not just “equal work,” making it illegal for employers to base compensation packages on a job title. It also broadens the list of protected classes to include not just gender, but also gender identity and expression, race, sexual orientation, marital status, age and others. Alonzo Martinez has several suggestions for employers to comply with the new laws: 1. Decide whether to comply with the laws in the jurisdictions with laws in effect or pick a holistic approach. 2. Make sure the third-party vendors you use abide by the laws. 3. Circulate information to all managers involved in hiring and salary decisions. 4. Complete a pay analysis and fix any discrepancies. “Lawmakers are embracing pay equity, and that means employers must get on board if they haven’t already,” he writes in Forbes. “Now’s the time to tailor your own workplace policies and practices to ensure that all workers earn a fair and equitable wage based on their work product and skill, and nothing else.”
Go beyond hiring with diversity
In order to tap diversity’s full benefits, companies need to look beyond hiring and expand it into all aspects of business, argues Robert Glazer. “If you value different backgrounds and perspectives in your own organization and have seen these benefits, the natural step is to work with vendors who have the same hiring philosophy,” he writes in this Inc. blog post. “Not only are your values aligned, but you’ll also get better results from vital partners.” Glazer recommends rethinking procurement strategies for vendors, broadening the customer base, and focusing on mentorship programs. “If we want to make strides in diversity, both leaders and companies will need to look beyond their own four walls,” he writes. “Until then, vendors will serve up the same ideas, mentorships will be less mutually beneficial, and businesses will be worse off as a result.”
America’s top CEOs call for better corporate citizenship
Earlier in August, the lobbying group Business Roundtable made a call to its members to “share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders,” while pledging “to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities and our country.” The group specifically mentioned investing in employees by compensating them fairly and providing important benefits, and offering more training opportunities for them to develop new skills for a rapidly changing world. “It is, without a question, a huge deal,” Rick Wartzman notes in Fast Company. “The pressure for business to put an end to shareholder primacy has been building from a variety of quarters. Younger workers, in particular, are looking for employers that have a loftier purpose than merely maximizing their profits.” Wartzman admits the Roundtable’s new agenda will not be easy to achieve, but claims it is worth the effort. “The words of the Roundtable—a Who’s Who of those at the helm of the largest U.S. corporations, from Abbott to Zebra Technologies—matter a lot. In the end, though, it is the actions of Roundtable members that will matter the most,” he concludes.
What HR can do to deal with the effects of Hurricane Dorian
Considering the risks that major storms such as Hurricane Dorian present to life and property, HR has a key role to play in helping organizations prepare for and cope with the aftermath, claims Andrew McIlvaine. He notes Walmart’s example, in which the company has established ways to update contact information, offer employees work in other locations, and provide licensed counselors at no charge to them. “HR should also be ready to help their companies avoid public-relations disasters,” McIlvaine writes in HR Executive. “During Hurricane Irma last year, some Florida residents complained of being coerced by their employers to report to work regardless of the storm or else be fired.”
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