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Combating Punitive Pay Secrecy Policies

Nearly fifty years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, women working full time are paid just 77 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. All too often, wage disparities go undetected because employers maintain policies that punish employees who voluntarily share salary information with their coworkers. When employees fear retaliation, there is a serious “chilling effect” on any conversations about wages. Moreover, the few laws that protect employees from such retaliation are full of loopholes that have allowed the unfortunate practice of penalizing employees who discuss their wages to flourish. As a result, workers are paid unfair wages for years prior to discovering pay disparities, if they are discovered at all.