Before you can become SameWorks Fair Pay Certified, you will need to agree to adopt a few mandatory best practices as part of your prep for certification.

These best practices are important because they ensure you keep your certification evergreen throughout the year.

#1: All specific roles and levels (if applicable) are backed by documentation differentiating each role uniquely by skill, capabilities and competencies.

It is critical that your HR-responsible managers have a framework upon which they can assess individuals’ performance and merit. With this framework, your leadership team has criteria upon which to make objective decisions about salary increases and promotions. Our standards do not require that you adhere to any specific framework or tools for documenting job levels and competencies. We merely require that the documentation exists.

Each role and level should be mapped to a specific set of skills required for that particular level. For example, a Jr. Programmer might be required to take direction from more senior team members, where as a Sr. Programmer might be required to formally mentor junior team members. In addition, we encourage you to list soft as well as hard skills that typify the benchmark of successful employees in that role and level.

We believe adopting this level of rigor will lead to more objective and thoughtful discussions during regularly scheduled performance and merit increase cycles.

#2: All job offers going forward are reviewed for fairness to ensure adherence to compliance.

To ensure that you’re not constantly making adjustments during the re-certification process, it is important that each hire be reviewed for adherence to the role and salary they would be hired into. We believe that most adjustments should be made during the first year of certification, with a dramatically decreased number in years two and three.

We encourage you to use SameWorks dashboards to view other similar roles, and strategize an offer that is both appealing to the candidate but fair-minded to others on the team. You should keep in mind the candidate’s job experience relative to others on the team, as well as education and other unique skills and competencies.

#3: All promotions, bonuses, variable compensation, and salary increases going forward are justifiable by reason of merit, quantity of work, education or training, tenure, or other acceptable reason.

If you have well-documented role and level definitions, it should be fairly easy to make good decisions about promotions and salary increases.

We recommend you keep track of each promotion or raise (and the justification why it was motivated) as it occurs, so that it is simple for you to enter into SameWorks at the time you need to re-certify.

#4: All data submitted for certification is up-to-date as of no later than 30 calendar days.

In order to ensure your certification is based on recent company data, we require that you provide us with data that is no older than 30 calendar days. In some cases, exceptions can be made upon request; please contact if you need more than 30 days to prepare for your audit.

#5: Employees who are paid variably by measures of productive work (such as Sales roles) must have the same compensation program by role.

All sales and performance-based pay programs need to be equally applicable for all employees in a role.

For example, if an inside sales person is compensated at a certain rate for a lead passed along to sales representatives, all other inside sales persons with those responsibilities must be compensated on an equal opportunity basis. Meaning that the value of a single lead must be the same across all employees in that role, and any bonuses granted for reaching a certain number of leads needs to also apply uniformly. In addition, all quotas should be the same for everyone in a role.  For example, it is acceptable to lower the quota for a new employee and raise it over time, as long as those rules apply uniformly to everyone in that role.