In Focus: Inside Hollywood and Out, Pay Transparency Is Catching Fire

By Dana Wilkie Oct 26, 2015
Bradley Cooper’s idea to force employers to change what they pay men and women is generating headlines.

After a recent essay from actress Jennifer Lawrence reignited the furor over equal pay in Hollywood—and, by loose extension, equal pay for American women without agents—her four-time male co-star Bradley Cooper announced he’d include his female colleagues in future pay negotiations. (Washington Post)

Pay transparency is an idea that’s catching on outside Hollywood.

A growing number of workplaces are making employee pay transparent—a movement driven by the explosion of compensation information available on the Internet, including third-party websites such as, and The Millennial generation, accustomed to sharing personal information through social networks, is also shaping the trend. (HR Magazine)

Some companies are trying to close the gender pay gap in other ways.

In April 2015, Reddit made headlines by announcing that it would prohibit salary negotiations for both candidates and existing employees. The San Francisco-based Internet news company adopted the policy in hopes of closing the gender pay gap. Several other tech companies, including and Magoosh, recently have adopted similar policies. (HR Magazine)

And some states are taking a different approach.

California Senate Bill (SB) 358, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 6, 2015, seeks to close the wage gap between men and women by requiring comparable pay for “substantially similar” work—not equal pay for equal work. (SHRM Online)

And, of course, the federal government weighs in.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s freshly minted pay transparency regulations mandate that federal contractors let their employees discuss their pay, but allow contractors to discipline HR professionals for publicly discussing compensation that they learn about in the performance of their essential job functions, such as in payroll. However, in some circumstances HR is protected by the pay transparency rule. (SHRM Online)

Dana Wilkie is an online editor/manager for SHRM.


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