The pitfalls of making pay ‘transparent’

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What a really, really stupid and unconstitutional idea. That is, for the Federal Government to dictate to private companies that they publish private information.


Dear Annie: You might have heard that the U.S. Department of Labor has proposed regulations that would prohibit “pay secrecy” at federal contractors, meaning we will have to reveal the size of everyone’s paycheck to everyone else. The company where I’m a group manager gets about half its annual revenues from federal contracts, so there’s no doubt that this will apply to us.

The problem is, although we have a sensible compensation strategy now, we started 25 years ago as a family-owned business where employees were paid more or less according to the (former) patriarch’s personal whims. And some of those people are still here, at salaries that are out of whack with what the market would dictate. I’m already dreading the discussions people are going to want to have about this whole thing. Your thoughts, please? — Just Mike

Dear J.M.: Hard as it may be to believe, some…

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