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LIBA’s Opposition to LB 1085, Disclosure of Employee Salary

Senator Lathrop and Members of the Business and Labor Committee:

LIBA is opposed to LB 1085 because the reporting requirements are unnecessary and will only serve to foster dissatisfaction in the workplace.

LB 1085 requires employers with 50 or more employees to compile a list of employees by job title, gender, age, years of service and salary and make this list available to the equal opportunity commission as well as all employees of the business.

This information is unnecessary for any legitimate or statistical purpose.  The Nebraska Department of Labor already collects much of this information for government and statistical purposes.  Similar lists of salary by geographic region and/or gender are widely available to the general public online. (PayScale.com, GlassDoor.com, Vault.com, Salary.com) It seems the only purpose of this bill is to shame employers into compensating employees based on extrinsic factors as opposed to employee merit.

Employee compensation is a complex determination is based on a myriad of factors including knowledge, aptitude, skill, attitude, and productivity that cannot be easily encapsulated in one line of statistical data.

Once available this information will lead to upheaval in the workplace. Employees will draw conclusions based on incomplete information. With coworkers reduced to one line of external characteristics employees make judgments about their own value, their workplace and their management without consideration of a host of applicable factors such as education, previous experience, certifications which all play into compensation.  These employee conclusions can lead to resentment between employees and will lead to lower job satisfaction.

This information will give salary discussions an unhealthy focus. Instead of employers and employees discussing compensation in terms of skills and achievements they will be focused on comparing one employee against the other.  This can only lead to resentment and jealousy instead of inspiring employees to greater achievement.

Above all, this bill will make privileged information available to competitors in the marketplace.  A disgruntled employee could easily share this data with a business’s competitor.  I can assure you that businesses do not want a complete list of positions and salaries made available to a competitor.

Therefore, because LB 1085 makes privileged information public, and it creates no value while causing hostility in the workplace LIBA opposes this bill and would ask this committee to do the same.