In this article, we explain our certification guidelines and standards.

To be certified, companies must prove that each employee in the same role is paid fairly compared to others in that same role. Our software helps companies become compliant with these standards.

“Same role” is defined as:

  • Same company. Two similar jobs at different companies may be paid differently.
  • Same location. Remote employees and employees in different physical locations are considered different roles because pay may differ between markets. However, a company with several offices in a single city are not considered different locations.
  • Same Job and/or Job Level. If levels are used, the definition of role applies at that granular level.

Compensation is defined as:

  • For employees paid hourly, their hourly pay rate.
  • For full-time salaried employees, their annual salary.
  • For part-time salaried workers, their percentage of time relative to a full-time worker, adjusted to the full time rate. For example, a 50% worker at $30,000 annually is equivalent to a 100% worker at $60,000 annually.
  • For employees who receive variable compensation, the % of compensation that is variable. For example, company leaders and other people who are paid a percentage of their total compensation as a bonus.

Standards For Fair Pay:

  • If there are no significant differences in performance, quantity of work, educational background, experience, or tenure, two individuals in the same role should be paid identically.
  • It is acceptable to pay an individual more than others because:
    • The individual consistently exceeds the standards and criteria for job performance. (Merit)
    • The employee is responsible for and capable of taking on a greater quantity of work than others. (Quantity of work)
    • The employee has been with the company for a greater length of time. (Tenure)
    • The individual has either formal or practical education or certification that is relevant to the skills required for the job. (Education)
    • The employee has a greater amount of previous experience that is relevant to the job. (Experience)
    • The employee has negotiated to receive less stock or other alternative forms of compensation in lieu of cash. (Alternate Compensation)
    • Other business-justifiable reason that is not related to their gender, race, ethnicity or age. (Other)
  • It is acceptable to pay an individual less than others because of:
    • They have negotiated specifically to receive more stock or other forms of compensation than pay.
  • There shall be no difference between individuals pay based on their gender, race, ethnicity, or age.

Documenting Exceptions

Every exception to why two individuals in the same role are paid differently must be given a specific, concise and accurate justification. SameWorks will review every justification to determine if it follows these guidelines and reserves the right to request additional information, or reject the exception. This article provides some helpful tips on writing acceptable exceptions.

Adopting Required Best Practices

In order to be certified, there are certain best practices that companies must adopt in order to be in compliance with SameWorks Fair Pay standards. This article covers those mandatory best practices.

Annual Renewal

Certifications must be renewed on an annual basis to prove that the company is continuing to follow these standards.