The Pay Gap in 2014: Equal Pay for Equal Work?

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The Pay Gap in 2014: Equal Pay for Equal Work?

Depending on which set of survey data is used, which methodology is employed, or which sectors of the workforce are included, the gap reported between male and female “percent of earnings” or dollars & cents can vary by as much as 14 cents on the dollar.

At the high end, is the US Census Bureau reporting women make 77 cents on the dollar when compared to men in 2014. After controlling for a wide variety of variables, some experts would argue that this difference shrinks to 9 cents.
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MyRA Overview

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MyRA Overview

On January 29th, 2014, President Barack Obama signed a presidential memorandum authorizing the Treasury Department to create a new retirement-savings vehicle aimed at workers who don't have access to traditional retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s. That group includes about half the U.S. workforce.
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Compensation & Benefits Trends for 2013-2014

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Sue Bailey is a Senior Consultant at ERC with more than 25 years experience in the HR, compensation, and benefits field. We sat down with Bailey to answer a few questions about benefits and compensation in the workplace.

How has the Affordable Care Act impacted benefits and compensation?

The Affordable Care Act, or Obama Care, is having a significant effect on benefits and compensation in 2014.  “Specifically, it will have a large impact on employer’s benefits packages in the future. A lot will depend on the medical and insurance companies, and consumers,” says Bailey.
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5 Surprising Employee Benefits Found in Non-Profits

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Thanksgiving Day of is just around the corner, which means your organization is probably gearing up for a food drive, adopting a family in need for the holidays, or volunteering at a soup kitchen (or maybe you work for the social service organization that is providing these volunteer opportunities). There are certainly plenty of non-profit organizations in Northeast Ohio to choose from and we’ve all heard hundreds, if not thousands of stories of the good deeds these organizations strive to achieve. But what about the employees that run these organizations day-to-day? What do their non-profit sector employers offer to them as employees?

Below, Figure 1 further unpacks this question, specifically in terms of non-profit employee benefits, comparing the frequency of 5 unique (and somewhat surprising) employee benefits between a non-profit only survey sample and a mixed industry survey sample.

Figure 1: Percentage of organizations offering each of the following employee benefits

  2013 ERC Non-Profit Benefits Survey 2013-2014 ERC Policies & Benefits Survey
Domestic Partner Benefits 58% 24%
Flex-time Arrangement 55% 30%
Tuition Reimbursement 48% 58%
PTO (Paid-Time-Off) Bank 38% 24%
Paternity Leave 28% 25%


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The ā€œ5 Wā€™sā€ of Payroll

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Payroll may not be the most glamorous function in an organization, but it is certainly one of the most critical. To better understand how this process takes place at a sampling of 179 Northeast Ohio organizations, we turn to the results of the 2013 ERC Payroll Practices Survey, which are summarized in the “5 W’s” below.

Who is processing payroll?

If you are in Human Resources (HR) or Accounting at your organization, there is a good chance that you or your departmental colleagues have some role to play in processing payroll. In fact at several organizations, payroll administration is an interdepartmental task shared by HR and Accounting or some other similar financial type department.
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How to Set Compensation in 5 Easy Steps

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Salaries are a business investment, and in order to make sure that you set fair and competitive compensation for jobs it’s important to use a structured method for setting compensation as opposed to choosing a random salary or simply using one salary survey or compensation source.

Employers generally determine salaries based on five (5) types of information: the job's responsibilities, what their competitors are paying, how valuable the job is to their organization, how they pay people in similar roles based on their pay structure, and their budget/organizational needs.

With this in mind, here are five (5) easy steps for setting compensation.
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SEC Proposes CEO Pay Ratio Rule

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a rule in 2013, required under the Dodd-Frank Act, which would require companies to disclose a pay ratio of their chief executive officer's compensation to the median total compensation of all of its employees (for the last fiscal year).

The SEC would not prescribe a specific method for organizations to use when calculating a pay ratio, and companies would have the flexibility to determine the median annual total compensation among their employees and make reasonable estimates when calculating elements of and employees' total compensation.  In addition, in the proposed rule, "employee" is defined as any employee who is full-time, part-time, temporary, seasonal, and non-U.S; employed by the company or any of its subsidiaries; and employed as of the last day of the company's prior fiscal year.

Companies would be required to disclose the method they used to identify the median and total compensation as well as any amounts that are estimated.

Source: Securities and Exchange Commission (2013). SEC Proposes Rules for Pay Ratio Disclosure

Will New DOL Regulations for Direct Care Workers Drive Changes in Pay?

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Here in Northeast Ohio, it is well known that the healthcare industry is by far the largest in the region, employing thousands upon thousands of workers in a wide range of positions (and salaries). One position type that has made headlines in recent weeks is the “direct care worker."

Although not typically the subject of high profile news stories these employees (e.g. home health aides) will soon be seeing a significant change in how they are paid. Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests that approximately 1.9 million workers across the country would be re-classified by the Department of Labor (DOL) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and this could mean big changes for the fifteen-thousand or so home health aides employed in the immediate area.
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Integrating Incentive Pay into Your Performance Management Process

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When structuring an effective Performance Management process at any organization, including some type of incentive to help drive performance is a key step. Particularly in recent years, large financial incentives are not always feasible, nor are they always found to be the most impactful driver for incentivizing employees. Nonetheless, a consistently strong majority of organizations both across the region and nationally, tie pay to performance either directly or indirectly.

For a closer look at how organizations in Northeast Ohio are implementing these financially based incentives, we turn to the 2013 ERC Pay Adjustment & Incentive Practices Survey.

Types of Incentives

Annual bonus plans remain the most common type of incentive pay, with individual incentives and profit-sharing filling the second spot, depending upon the employee group being compensated. Other less common incentives reported include, longevity service awards, retirement-based profit sharing, and executive performance bonus plans for select executive level positions.
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2013/2014 Salary & Benefits Planning & Budgeting Guide

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We’ve compiled a brief compensation and benefits planning and budgeting guide to help your organization make important pay, health care, and benefits decisions this fall and into 2014. The guide summarizes the latest and most important trends we’re seeing related to administering compensation, health care, and benefits, which affect your organization as it plans for 2014.

Employers project 2.9%-3.0% pay increases for 2013/2014.

Salary budget planning surveys for 2013/2014 consistently report average actual pay increases of about 2.9% for 2013 and project pay increases of 2.9%-3.0% for 2014 for most levels of employees, in line with increases of last year. A breakdown of the projections from these surveys is summarized below.
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