(LibertySons.org) – Nearly two years ago, President Joe Biden signed an executive order promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the federal workforce, the nation’s largest employer. On Wednesday, May 10, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) unveiled a prospective government hiring rule that the agency hopes will close the pay gaps for minority workers like women and people of color.
Specifically, the proposed rule would prohibit federal agencies from reviewing salary histories during hiring. OPM Director Kiran Ahuja justified the change, saying, “Relying on a candidate’s previous salary history can disproportionally impact women and members of other underserved communities.” She said that in addition to closing the pay gaps and promoting equality, the new policy could help the government attract “the best talent.”
Biden to prohibit use of salary history for federal employee hires https://t.co/cPCxmmYOcw pic.twitter.com/hEszx6OqlY
— The Hill (@thehill) May 11, 2023
On average, women in the US make 84 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts, according to a Department of Labor Women’s Bureau Issue Brief. That report also noted that black and Hispanic women make even less, earning 67 cents and 57 cents, respectively, compared to every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.
Research cited by the labor report indicated that the passage of salary history bans resulted in a 4.2% reduction in the hourly wage gap for women in one study, and another study found a pay increase of 5% for workers as compared with those hired in similar positions without a ban in place. One more research paper found minority workers realized a 7.9% wage increase after implementing a salary history ban, reducing the pay gap between white and non-white workers who changed jobs by as much as 68%.
The Hill reported that 21 states employ laws or executive orders limiting employers’ access to salary history or banning it outright. Critics argue the bans won’t deal with job selection, one of the leading factors in the gender pay gap. But OPM Deputy Director Rob Shriver told Axios the ban would “root out some of the historical pay inequities that are more prevalent outside of federal government,” keeping them from entering the federal system.
~Here’s to Our Liberty!
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