In 1963, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act requiring employers to give men and women employees equal pay for equal work in jobs requiring equal skill, effort, responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions. The Equal Pay Act acknowledges that there might be some pay gaps based on qualifying categories such a: 1) a seniority system, 2) a merit system, 3) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or 4) a differential based on any other factor than sex.
Even though the federal Equal Pay Act became law in 1963, women continue to experience wage disparities nationally. At the City of Tempe we are working to narrow the gender pay gap.
The Tempe City Council voted to create an initiative to ensure pay equity based on gender, including devising a process to designate qualified businesses as partners committed to equal pay. This initiative includes four pillars of pay equity simultaneously: 1) Policy; 2) Business Designation; 3) Business Education and Outreach; and 4) Negotiation Training.
Pillar 1: Policy
The City of Tempe's 2014 Anti-Discrimination Ordinance will serve as the guide for complaints in the community of alleged pay discrimination on the basis of gender. The Anti-Discrimination Ordinance prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, familial status, age, disability and United States military veteran status. Protections apply to the areas of: employment at the City of Tempe and businesses in Tempe; contracts; housing; public places; and appointments to city Boards and Commissions.
Pillar 2: Business Designation
Tempe is working on a proposal to create an Equal Pay for Equal Work Business Partner designation. We are seeking to have the input of 15 businesses that vary from small, medium and large employers to assist us in developing the criteria for Equal Pay for Equal Work Business Partner designation.
We will work with a test group of businesses to advise on the following:
- The self-assessment tool to determine the company's equal pay data.
- The ease of use of the online submittal form.
- Additional ideas or recommendations for equal pay for equal work designation.
Businesses wishing to participate in the test group should call Ginny Belousek at 480-350-8979. At that time, you will be given instructions for submission of your Equal Pay for equal work numbers.Participation will be voluntary and designation, if awarded, will be good for one year. Each recognized business will be listed on the city's website and will be provided with a window decal to promote its participation in the program and its commitment to equal pay. The full Council will evaluate the results of the test group before finalizing the process.
Business Education and Outreach
City staff will develop and host quarterly workshops for local businesses on topics like equal pay for equal work, anti-discrimination, diversity and more. The group also wants to see the city and partners develop ways to educate young people about pay equity.
FREE negotiation training classes are open to anyone who lives, works, or studies in Tempe. The city has partnered with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to offer the workshops, which are designed to help community members build confidence and skills around salary negotiation, market worth, tools of persuasion, and business strategies. The goal is to train at least 8,000 women in five years.
Each class features the same information and all will take place in the Business Resource and Innovation Center (BRiC), inside the Tempe Public Library, 3500 S. Rural Road. The planned classes are:
- Wednesday, Dec. 7, 6-8 p.m.
- Tuesday, Jan. 24, 6-8 p.m.
- Saturday, Feb. 4, 10 a.m. to noon
- Tuesday, March 21, 6-8 p.m.
- Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m. to noon
- Tuesday, May 16, 6-8 p.m.
- Tuesday, May 30, 6-8 p.m.
Registration for each class is required. Visit: http://www.aauw.org/work-smart-tempe/