Cary Moon Proposes Plans to Improve Wage Fairness For Seattle Women and People of Color

Moon’s Platform includes a Ban on Salary History Demands, Resuming Pay Data Collection, and Support for Employers

9/11/17: As Mayor, Cary Moon will implement a comprehensive plan to further wage equality for Seattle’s women and people of color, including banning demands for salary history during hiring processes, and resuming the collection of pay data halted by the Trump Administration.

“It’s City Hall’s responsibility to do everything it can, particularly in the shadow of the Trump Administration’s rollbacks, to ensure people of color and women are guaranteed pay and workplace equality,” said Cary Moon.

Seattle has one of the fastest growing economies in the country, yet incomes for people  of color have not improved since the recession lifted. Poverty and economic insecurity keep many people of color locked into lower paying jobs in Seattle, regardless of their skills and education levels.

Women in Seattle are making just 78 cents on the dollars earned by men, and the wage gap is even wider for women who have earned bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degrees. It’s no better in the tech industry, where female programmers make 30% less than their male counterparts.  

A recent survey also found 60% of women want employers to stop asking about salary history because it can lock women in a lower salary range during hiring negotiations.

“Seattle’s prosperity should provide shared opportunity and success for everyone, not just the lucky few,” said Cary Moon. “Too many workers, especially women and people of color, are putting in longer hours, earning less than their co-workers, and falling further behind. We need bold solutions that advance a truly equitable vision of living wages, access to affordable housing, and workplace health and safety rights for all Seattleites.”

As part of her 6-part agenda for Seattle’s workers, Cary Moon proposes the following ideas to address wage inequality:

Pay Data Collection: Modeled after President Obama’s Executive Order (which was recently halted by the Trump Administration), Moon’s starting proposal would include:

  • Annually collecting summary pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity from all city departments and Seattle businesses with more than 100 employees.
  • Pay data reported would include anonymized employee numbers for one pay period by job category and then by sex, race, and ethnicity.

Salary History Ban: Modeled after Oregon’s Equal Pay Act of 2017, Moon’s starting proposal would include:

  • Prohibiting employers from screening applicants based on salary history or seeking an applicant’s salary history, either from the applicant or current or former employers.
  • Prohibiting employers from relying on salary history in setting compensation, except for when determining pay for a current employee during a transfer, move, or hire to a new position with the same employer. 

Improved Equal Pay Discrimination Rules/Ordinance: Moon’s starting proposal would include:

  • Working with the Office for Civil Rights to adopt rules for stronger enforcement of Washington’s Equal Pay Act, including developing an ordinance with more robust equal pay protections as outlined in HB 1506.
  • Clear definition of pay discrimination and retaliation protection for those who file claims of pay discrimination.

Moon earlier released her detailed policy proposal to ensure domestic workers are paid at least minimum wage, receive sick leave, work breaks and time off with a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. She also released plans for a Freelancer and Contingent Workers’ Bill of Rights and a ban on non-compete agreements.

“Because we are setting high standards for those doing business in Seattle, I would establish a new Business Technical Assistance and Certification Program to help employers, particularly new or immigrant entrepreneurs, meet Seattle’s labor requirements.”

Technical Assistance & Certification Program For Businesses To Meet Seattle’s Fair Workplace Standards: Moon’s starting proposal would include:

  • Free trainings for business owners and managers to ask questions about implementing Seattle’s labor laws, and receive coaching and advice on meeting standards and streamlining processes.
  • Certification and promotion for Seattle businesses that meet or or exceed Seattle’s “High Road” standards.

Many of these ideas come from groups like Puget Sound Sage, Casa Latina, Fair Work Center, Working Washington, M.L. King County Labor Council, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Freelance Workers Union, MomsRising, Restaurant Opportunities Center United, American Sustainable Business Council, and others who have been spearheading this important work.

“I look forward to working with key stakeholders and community members to ensure we are centering the voices of those most impacted, and achieve the safety, fair wages, and basic protections they deserve,” said Moon.