July 4th, or Independence Day, marks the historic date in 1776 when the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, and the colonies became independent from Great Britain. The nation’s founding principles included the idea that all people are created equal and have fundamental rights, promising liberty and equality for all.
Is 2023 a turning point for employers in fulfilling those values in the workplace through pay equity and creating inclusive cultures?
American history: From John Locke to present day
The “revolutionary generation” was influenced by the 17th Century English philosopher John Locke. Locke pioneered ideas which included the “right to revolution”, ideas which would prove to be a key factor in American history and the ideologies behind the revolution, the US Constitution, the American Bill of Rights, and Independence Day itself.
On June 28th, 1870, Independence Day was declared a national holiday by Congress, and in 1941 it became a paid holiday for all federal employees. Today it remains a vital symbol of liberty and equality for the American people, and the most important secular event on the American calendar.
Liberty and equality is more than an abstract idea
The struggle for true liberty and equality in American history demonstrates how we have grappled with living out those founding principles.
Liberty and equality in a society must be about more than words. They must be apparent in the way we live and work. As employers, they must emerge from our core values to shape inclusive cultures and underpin every aspect of the working environment and the employee experience.
Independence Day calls us to reexamine those values in our own organizations.
Shaping inclusive cultures
Taking steps towards equality in the workplace, and living out the core values symbolized by Independence Day, begins by creating inclusive cultures.
80% of employees believe that an inclusive culture is important in choosing an employer
39% would leave their current role to work for a more inclusive organization
Nearly a quarter have already left their jobs due to the lack of inclusion
Celebrating Independence Day as a national holiday unites the whole country around core values of equality and liberty, yet we still have some way to go to achieve it for all:
Juneteenth reminds us of the need for true inclusion, and highlights the pay gap for people of color. While Juneteenth celebrates freedom, the journey to equality is still ongoing.
Raising awareness of and celebrating different cultural heritages such as Caribbean Heritage month can help to change perceptions. Similarly, Equal Pay Awareness Day reminds us of the challenges still facing our LGBTQIA+ community both in the workplace and wider society.
Help to level the playing field for women and people of color
While Equal Pay Day took place on March 14th, 2023, for black women, Equal Pay Day is September 21st, 2023. International Equal Pay Day, organized by the Equal Pay International Coalition takes place on September 18th.
Our national holiday offers a time for all of us to collectively pause, reflect and celebrate our achievements, while acknowledging there is still much to be done. In the area of pay equity, significant progress has been made in 2023, a year which may yet prove to be a turning point.
At Trusaic, we are committed to creating a better working world for all, and to enabling employers to create inclusive cultures and equality in the workplace. We do this by collaborating with our clients to achieve pay equity and foster workplace diversity and inclusion.
We consider pay equity to be a human right and critical to living out the reality of our nation’s founding principles.
All employers can commit to the following steps to create a more inclusive culture:
Ensure wage and hour compliance: Wage and hour laws are regulated at a federal level by the Fair Labor Standards Act 1938 (FLSA), also known as the federal Wage and Hour Law. Wage and hour compliance is the responsibility of employers, and legislation is set by federal, state, and local wage and hour laws. Wage and hour regulations can also be set by unions. Employer compliance can be time consuming due to complex federal and state regulations.
Commit to DEI: A commitment to DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) embraces core values of equality and freedom and is inseparable from pay equity. Measuring and monitoring the effectiveness of DEI initiatives is vital for organizations committed to creating inclusive cultures.
Comply with pay equity laws: Working with Trusaic can help you to stay on top of ever changing pay equity legislation which affects your organization, and ensure compliance. Your first step is to carry out a pay equity audit. Our state-of-the-art pay equity software, PayParity®, helps to solve HR’s most complex challenges around people, data, and compliance.
Commit to an inclusive culture. Talk to one of our pay equity experts.