Division of Labor and Industry


Commission Recommendations - Report of the Equal Pay Commission

V) Commission Recommendations

The Commission believes that additional research and ongoing data gathering are critical to addressing wage disparity issues between men and women and minorities and non-minorities in Maryland. The research that was conducted by and on behalf of the Commission confirms that there are wage gaps based on both gender and race in the State, particularly in the private sector. The Commission was hampered from reviewing the gaps and related factors by time, data and budget limitations. Therefore, the Commission's first three recommendations relate directly to establishing a mechanism for additional study and effective implementation of changes. The final three recommendations provide shorter term strategies that could have an immediate impact on existing wage disparities.

A) Create an On Going Commission - The Commission recommends the creation of an ongoing Commission charged with continuing the work started herein and provided with staff and funding to pay for additional studies into the wage disparities, related factors and possible remedies. Integral to this recommendation is the need to do comprehensive reviews of compensation systems to determine effective systems in different sectors.
B) Assign Effective Equal Pay Authority to a State Agency - Assign to a State agency the authority to effectively develop policies that systematically address the equal pay issue and to enforce the Maryland Equal Pay Act. Allocate the requisite resources to ensure effective implementation of these responsibilities.
C) Develop and Implement a Consistent and Comprehensive Data Collection System - The Commission was hampered by the need to have reliable Maryland-specific data that can provide detailed information on the wages being paid to men and women and minorities and non-minorities in Maryland. There simply was not sufficient data readily available to fully explore the issues set before the Commission. Therefore, the Commission recommends the development and implementation of a comprehensive mechanism for gathering consistent and comprehensive data on wage disparity issues.
D) Encourage Implementation of Family Friendly Work Policies - The Commission believes family friendly work policies could encourage the retention of women in the work force. Policies addressing issues such as family leave, affordable child care and sick leave need to be considered.
E) Provide for Effective Administration and Enforcement of Existing Laws - The Commission believes that by improving the Maryland Equal Pay Law and providing for its administration and enforcement, the State could further narrow wage gaps in the State.
F) Gather and Disseminate Best Practices - A multi-faceted approach is necessary to address wage disparities. The Commission recommends a comprehensive strategy of gathering best practices on a number of critical issues and ensuring that the information is disseminated and available to individuals, employers and policy makers.
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