There was a lot of news about compensation and equal pay this week, so that's what we're going to focus on in this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup. Increasing the minimum wage has been a popular topic in recent months. Just a few weeks ago, McDonald's reported its intentions to increase its minimum wage, and I wrote about Gap's plan last year. These companies are focused on the hourly worker. But what about a minimum wage for the salaried worker? That actually happened this week. This week was "Equal Pay Day," a day that symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. Bet you didn't know this was a thing! Enjoy the other news related to equal pay and compensation below. 

1) Gravity Payments CEO Takes 90% Pay Cut to Give Workers Huge Raise from CNN Money

"Price, who heads up the Seattle payment processing firm Gravity Payments that he founded, has pledged to make sure all of his staffers make at least $70,000 annually in the next three years. To do that he's cutting his $1 million salary to $70,000, and dipping into the firm's annual $2 million in profits. This will double the pay of about 30 of his workers and will mean significant raises for an additional 40. Price told employees of the new pay policy at a meeting Monday. For several moments there was stunned silence before people broke into applause and high fives said Phillip Akhavan, a merchants relations worker whose $43,000 salary immediately jumped 16% to $50,000."

2) Why We Still Need Equal Pay Day from The Washington Post

"This Tuesday brings us a divisive political holiday of sorts, representing how far past Dec. 31 women must work to earn as much as men did the previous calendar year. Each year the day is celebrated with indignant speeches, political pledges, confusing stats and plenty of eye-rolling from unsympathetic men (as well as some women) who think crybaby ladies should just get over their persecution complexes already. The typical full-time, year-round working woman earns about 78 cents for each dollar her male counterpart brings home. As has been “debunked” time and again, though, this pay gap primarily reflects not deliberate, “Mad Men”-style discrimination but the choices women make: in occupations, hours worked, decisions to take time off to care for children and so on. If you adjust for these kinds of factors — education, tenure, workweek hours — the wage gap narrows substantially."

3) Fast Food Workers Rally in Chicago for Higher Pay from Crain's

"Fast-food workers held rallies in 236 U.S. cities Wednesday in their biggest protest yet for higher pay and union rights. In Chicago, about 150 people protested outside a McDonald's on the city's South Side, said Deivid Rojas, a spokesman for Fight for $15 in Chicago. Protesters also were joined by about 40 striking truck drivers and security guards, he said. The events were organized by the union-backed Fight for $15 campaign, which is demanding that McDonald's Corp. and other fast-food chains raise their minimum wages to $15 and let workers unionize. The rallies, which drew tens of thousands of workers, are the largest action to date for a movement begun in November 2012, organizers said."

4) Fast Food Minimum Wage Push Takes to the Streets of New York City from The Wall Street Journal 

"Fast food workers joined by students, union organizers, and healthcare industry workers, demonstrated in New York City on Wednesday as part of nationwide protests to push for higher pay in restaurant chains across the U.S. The union-backed Tax Day rallies, set for more than 200 U.S. cities, were the latest part of an effort organizers have dubbed “Fight for $15″ — a bid to secure that minimum hourly rate and unionize at outlets such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s Burger King, KFC, and other major national restaurant chains. The effort began in 2013. On Manhattan’s Upper West Side, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in front of a McDonald’s, chanting in English and Spanish as police officers stood at the front door to ensure customers’ access to the restaurant."

5) On Equal Pay Day, Let's Stand Up for Working Women, Families, and Our Economy from Huffington Post

"This Equal Pay Day it is time to take decisive action to close the wage gap that still exists between women and men. Why is Equal Pay Day marked every April? Because currently a woman has to work a year and three months into the next year just to earn what a man earns in one year. Making sure women get equal pay for equal work remains one of my top priorities. President Obama and Democrats in Congress share this priority, and we will keep fighting to achieve it. Every week I speak with women and families in my district and from across the country who are struggling to make ends meet. I also encounter women who are striving to get ahead in their careers but know they are paid less than their male counterparts for no reason other than their gender."

Lexi Gordon is a Lead Consultant for exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps organizations build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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