Congressional Petition Urges Mandatory Salary Disclosure to Create Pay Equality

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Salary Disclosure to Promote Equality Act levels negotiation playing field to close gender pay gap.

The Salary Disclosure to Promote Equality Act will give both the candidate and the company fairness and dignity in the salary negotiation process – two qualities we can all use more of these days.” Katie Donovan, Equal Pay Negotiations

As the nation slowly winds its way out of the Great Recession, equal pay advocate and salary negotiation expert, Katie Donovan thinks job seekers deserve a level playing field when it comes to salary negations with prospective employers. And she’s calling on Congress and the federal government to do something about it. Today, Donovan launched an online petition on urging President Obama, United States Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and members of the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions and the House Education and the Workforce Committee to draft and pass The Salary Disclosure to Promote Equality Act.

Donovan says most of her clients tell her that salary negotiation is the most troubling aspect of the job hunt; mostly because they have little or no information available to work with. “The potential employer holds all the cards,” said Donovan. “Employers get to ask prospective employees about their salary and credit histories, yet most employers don’t even give the slightest hint of the salary range leaving the applicant at a huge information disadvantage.”

According to the petition, The Salary Disclosure to Promote Equality Act would include the following components:

  • Requires inclusion of the pay range for all job postings for public and private sector jobs
  • Removes the requirement for most job candidates to be subject to a credit check
  • Eliminates the requirement for applicants to share salary history
  • Prohibits past employers from sharing a previous employee’s salary history
  • Allow employees within the same company to share salary information without fear of dismissal (Also a component of the 2011 Fair Pay Act.)

Donovan points out that employers today are getting bolder with the amount of information they require of potential employees, such as gaining access to personal social media sites, but they don’t share the same level of transparency with potential or even current employees.

According to Donovan, that lack of real market data for salaries is particularly troublesome for female job candidates who on average earn 81 percent of their male counterparts pay. Donovan, said “When you start out behind and then lack meaningful data that can help get you on a level plane, you end up with a persistent pay gap that can result in a loss of more than $500,000 over the course of a career. That’s unacceptable.”

So why ask the President and Congress for help? Donovan points out that the United States government has a long history of creating safeguards to protect its citizens from unscrupulous business and government practices by requiring transparency including, vehicle pricing and mileage stickers, food labels, Good Faith Estimates on mortgages and the Freedom of Information Act. But she says, it allows individuals to remain at a disadvantage during the most important financial decision they must make – understanding and negotiating the terms of a new job salary.

“The Salary Disclosure to Promote Equality Act would support every man and woman in the job market,” said Donovan. “Whether you’re a new college grad looking for your first professional job, a mom re-entering the workforce or one of the millions of Americans who were laid off during the recession and seeking a new opportunity, The Salary Disclosure to Promote Equality Act will give both the candidate and the company fairness and dignity in the salary negotiation process – two qualities we can all use more of these days.”

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About Katie Donovan
Katie Donovan is a blogger (, teacher and speaker on equal pay and women’s salary negotiations. Katie has staffing industry experience with a contract staffing firm (B&M Staffing) and an HR applicant-tracker vendor (Webhire, Inc.). She also has 20 years experience in negotiating contracts in such diverse industries as engineering, automotive, high tech, and human resources. Katie is also a consultant for an in-production documentary film with the working title Pay Gap. Ms. Donovan earned her MBA from McCallum School of Business, Bentley University in Waltham, MA and a BA in Economics from College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

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Joyce McMahon
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