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Careful HR generalists and compensation professionals know that the use of salary surveys—and, indeed, conversations about salary levels with peers in other organizations—can violate the Sherman Antitrust Act. Employers cannot act in a way that could be interpreted as trying to “fix” salaries at certain levels.
The U.S. Justice Department has published Antitrust Safety Zone guidelines on how employers can exchange salary data and information without running afoul of the law. Originally developed for the health care industry, these guidelines now apply to all employers and require the following conditions:
When in doubt, HR professionals should check with legal counsel to find out what they can and cannot do when it comes to compensation data and information sharing.
The author is a New Jersey-based business and financial writer.
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