Fast Company: As pay transparency laws go into effect, businesses push back

July 15. 2022

ERA’s Jessica Ramey Stender (Policy Director & Deputy Legal Director) is featured in a Fast Company article about Stronger California priority bill, ERA co-sponsored Senate Bill 1162:

The bill is designed to make those company reports public and capture data on the contract workforce that much of Silicon Valley relies on—which pro-business groups in the state have argued amounts to “public shaming,” according to Jessica Stender, senior counsel for workplace justice and public policy at Equal Rights Advocates, a nonprofit focused on gender justice in the workplace. “We see this as an opportunity for companies to uncover problematic pay trends—gender- and race-based pay disparities—and fix them, as opposed to shaming them,” she says.

The bill’s dissenters have staked their opposition on claims that sharing these reports publicly could open them up to potential litigation (even though they only call for aggregate data), though Stender also believes part of the issue is that companies don’t want to take responsibility for how contract workers are being compensated. “But from a workers’ rights perspective, and you would think from a policy perspective, it makes even more sense that even if you are contracting that work out, you ensure that workers are being paid fairly,” she says.

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