A new report has determined that Montgomery County’s equity law has helped decrease the pay gap for county employees.
Montgomery County’s Pay Equity Act is helping shrink the pay gap for county government employees, declining over the past few years since the passage of the equity law. The Pay Equity Act went into effect in 2019 to help combat wage inequity between county employees, with a particular focus on salary history.
The Daily Record recently explained the mechanics of the law:
The law forbids the county government from considering or relying on an applicant’s salary history as a factor in determining employment or from seeking out salary history; prior to the law, salary history could be considered in determining the employee’s starting salary, which led to lower wages for women, specifically women of color.
Before the 2019 enactment of the Pay Equity Act, women earned roughly $0.82 for each dollar earned by their male counterparts. That gap has closed by about $0.08 per dollar earned in the four years since its passage. A recent report found, “When evaluating base pay, there is no significant wage gap, although the report considers gross pay, which is total earnings and factors such as overtime and inferential payments.” Today, the gross pay wage gap for Montgomery County full-time employees is around $10,410. Women earn roughly $0.90 for each dollar earned by male employees. There are roughly 8,550 full-time county employees, 37 percent of whom are women.
Montgomery County is not only a leader in pay equity in Maryland but also across the county:
When compared to census data, the county government’s $0.90 cents to a dollar eclipse the national full-time employee rate of $0.81 for women on the male dollar, and the $0.86 that women earn compared to men in both Maryland and Montgomery County.
The county follows several procedures to ensure that the Act is implemented as intended:
- job listings have consistent pay ranges;
- departments are directed not to ask for salary information for potential employees; and
- and the county is committed to “continuing to conduct pay equity analyses to develop new strategies that will inform decisions around pay structures and policy to keep in line with the effort.”
County Executive Elrich’s July 12 weekly address, which can be found on YouTube, highlighted the successful work of the county to close the pay gap (discussion of the Pay Equity Act starts at 32 minutes).
The 2023 MACo Summer Conference general session “NextGen Public Service: Recruiting and Retaining Tomorrow‘s Workforce” will examine the evolution of public service and best practices for recruiting and retaining the next generation.
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