Category Archives: Compensation

Wages scale upward / Salaries edge higher, but poll finds some cautionary signs

Source: Dave Carpenter and data by Suzanna Hoppszallern, Health Facilities Management,

Pay has remained stable and even crept higher for Health Facilities Management readers through all the turbulence in the economy and health care over the past several years.

But all the uncertainty and industry cutbacks have taken a toll, knocking salaries off their previous growth rate. Now organizations are expected to trim further, clouding the outlook for managers and hospital workforces alike….The average salary stretching across a variety of job categories encompassed by the survey has risen about 6 percent from early 2009 to $90,659. Two of the three largest areas of responsibility represented by respondents have seen salaries climb respectably: construction and project management up 7 percent to an average $112,190 and facilities management/operations/engineering up 4 percent to $95,698. The third, environmental services/housekeeping, inched up 2 percent to $69,111. Hospitals also are rewarding seniority, experience and certification, the survey results indicate….

Top 10 takeaways

A closer look at 10 key takeaways from the poll, provides insights into industry trends in pay and other areas:

1. The top tier of salaries is expanding….
2. Bonuses have grown….
3. Organizations plan to do more with less….
4. Employee costs are rising and some key benefits are shrinking….
5. The Northeast and California pay best….
6. Certification pays off….
7. Education is increasingly valued….
8. Pay accelerates with 25 years’ experience….
9. The gender gap has widened….
10. The graying of management will soon leave a void….

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video summary

How Well Are Government Employees Paid?

Source: Howard Risher, Compensation & Benefits Review, Vol. 44 no. 2, March/April 2012
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The budget shortfalls, layoffs and pressure for better performance have heightened the attention to government pay programs around the world. A thread that runs through every discussion is the question of how well public employees are paid relative to those working in other sectors. Although different methodologies have been developed, only one is practical and readily understood–the use of surveys make it possible to compare pay with the levels in other employers using benchmark, generic jobs. The public broadly is not willing to accept government salaries that exceed those in the private sector. This article discusses the strategies for developing market data and for planning new government salary programs.

Allied Health: Anatomy of a Growing Industry

Source: U.S.News University Connection, 2012

Over the past several years, even as the recession raged and the recovery crawled, the allied health industry provided millions of Americans jobs in dozens of growing professions. That growth, according to government projections, is expected to continue this decade, meaning a degree or certificate in allied health could be a good bet for job seekers. The graphic below highlights some of the allied health careers expected to grow the fastest in the coming years.

Allied Health Careers
Infographic by U.S. News University Directory, your source for the Best Allied Health Programs Online.

America's Direct-Care Workforce

Source: Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), PHI Facts 3, May 2012

From the summary:
By 2020, the direct-care workforce — nursing assistants, home health aides, and personal care aides — is projected to be the nation’s largest workforce at 5 million workers, according to a new PHI analysis available in PHI FACTS 3: America’s Direct-Care Workforce (pdf).

Home care jobs — both home health aide and personal care aide positions — are the nation’s fastest-growing jobs, projected to increase over the decade 2010-2020 at an astounding 69 and 71 percent, respectively. Nursing aide, orderly, and attendant positions are expected to increase by 20 percent. Together these jobs will add an additional 1.6 million jobs to the economy.

Comprising nearly a third (30.6 percent) of the entire U.S. health care workforce, direct-care workers far outnumber other health care practitioners, including physicians, nurses, and therapists. These workers also outnumber all those employed in allied health occupations, such as medical and dental assistants, and physical therapy assistants and aides, by nearly three to one.

Tax Liability for Wage Theft

Source: Sachin S. Pandya, Columbia Journal of Tax Law, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2012

From the abstract:
This paper shows how, under existing tax law, illegal wage underpayment by an employer (sometimes called “wage theft”) may generate employer tax liability for unreported income or disallowed business expense deductions. Given that the tax authority needs information from the underpaid worker to prove such liability, the paper identifies two ways that a worker can transmit that information to a tax authority: becoming a tax informant, or bringing a qui tam action under a state false claims act. Finally, the paper discusses possible influences on the decision of the unpaid worker to inform on the employer to the tax authority, and considers the conditions under which a tax authority is likely to audit an employer based on such information. In so doing, the paper identifies a new approach to combating wage theft and an undiscovered implication of basic income tax law.

Where Theft is Legal: Mapping Wage Theft Laws in the 50 States

Source: Tim Judson & Cristina Francisco-McGuire, Progressive States Network, June 2012

From the blog post:
…Wage theft, or the illegal underpayment of workers, has become so widespread, it affects millions of workers across the country and is nearly ubiquitous in certain industries: retail, restaurants, hospitality, day-labor, warehousing, child care, and construction. That’s a lot of people – already not getting paid enough – whose bosses illegally make their paychecks even lighter.

The last time a detailed, multi-state survey was done, the findings were shocking. Researchers in three of our nation’s largest cities interviewed thousands of workers who earned at or near the minimum wage, and found a wide array of workplace violations. Here are just the basic facts:

64% of low-wage workers experience wage theft each week
26% are paid under the legal minimum wage
76% of workers who are owed overtime go unpaid or underpaid for those hours
On average, low-wage workers lose 15% of their income each year to wage theft – $51 per week, or $2,634 per year

…State laws and labor departments play a crucial role in prosecuting wage theft, filling in where enforcement of the federal minimum wage law is either lacking or not applicable. Even after the U.S. Department of Labor hired 250 more investigators in 2009, there is still only one investigator for every 141,000 workers — nearly ten times fewer than there were seventy years ago, after the federal minimum wage was first enacted.

Our new report, Where Theft is Legal, shows that, if “cracking down on wage theft” were a class, 44 out of 50 states would fail one of the major tests: enacting strong laws against the crime. At the same time, several states have begun to move in the right direction. As we highlighted in another recent report, New York passed a law in 2010 that is now the strongest in the country. Illinois, California, and Massachusetts have also developed strong and innovative policies to help workers reclaim their wages and convince employers to abandon wage theft. But far too many states have done little to nothing at all…..

Public Pay Disclosure in State Government: An Ethical Analysis

Source: James S. Bowman, Kelly A. Stevens, American Review of Public Administration, published online: May 16, 2012
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This qualitative analysis examines state legislation that discloses public employee salary information. It asks, “Is such legislation ethical?” To address this question, an approach—the “ethics triangle”—is used that encompasses results-based utilitarian ethics, rule-based duty ethics, and virtue-based character ethics. The study begins with the importance of the problem, followed by its evolution and current status. After describing the method of study, the article analyzes arguments for and against the ethics of salary disclosure using the ethics triangle. Although there are no easy answers, the Discussion section provides a synthesis of the findings. The concluding section suggests that open compensation systems encourage justifiable salary decisions and help personnel to better understand agency missions and why they earn what they do whereas a closed pay system can compromise the greatest good, duty, and integrity. Yet disclosure requirements applied across the board to all employees, with no distinction regarding the nature of the work or position involved, disregards important factors that deserve consideration. Alternative ways to disclose salary data without revealing individual identities and directions for future research are offered.

Gender Differences in the Salaries of Physician Researchers

Source: Reshma Jagsi, DPhil; Kent A. Griffith, Abigail Stewart, Dana Sambuco, Rochelle DeCastro, Peter A. Ubel, Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 307 no. 22, June 13, 2012
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
..It is unclear whether male and female physician researchers who perform similar work are currently paid equally. The objective was to determine whether salaries differ by gender in a relatively homogeneous cohort of physician researchers and, if so, to determine if these differences are explained by differences in specialization, productivity, or other factors….Male gender was associated with higher salary…even after adjustment in the final model for specialty, academic rank, leadership positions, publications, and research time. Peters-Belson analysis… indicated that the expected mean salary for women, if they retained their other measured characteristics but their gender was male, would be $12,194 higher than observed…..Gender differences in salary exist in this select, homogeneous cohort of mid-career academic physicians, even after adjustment for differences in specialty, institutional characteristics, academic productivity, academic rank, work hours, and other factors….

The Hands That Feed Us: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers Along the Food Chain

Source: Saru Jayaraman, Food Chain Workers Alliance, June 6, 2012

From the summary:
Today, the Food Chain Workers Alliance releases a new report, The Hands That Feed Us: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers Along the Food Chain, the first of its kind that looks at wages and working conditions of workers across the entire food chain – a sector that employs 20 million people in the U.S., comprising one-sixth of the nation’s workforce….According to our report, there are some good jobs in the food system (13.5% of workers surveyed earn livable wages), but the vast majority are incredibly low-wage, with little or no access to paid sick days and health benefits, with dire consequences for consumers. More than 86 percent of workers reported earning subminimum, poverty, and low wages, resulting in a sad irony: food workers face higher levels of food insecurity, or the inability to afford to eat, than the rest of the U.S. workforce….
…The Hands That Feed Us examines the five core food occupations and industries in the food system: farmworkers (production), slaughterhouse and other processing facilities workers (processing), warehouse workers (distribution), grocery store workers (retail), and restaurant and food service workers (service). It examines how corporate consolidation throughout the food chain has created universal impacts on workers in terms of low wages, small to midsize employers in terms of unfair competition, and consumers in terms of food quality and diversity. Employers interviewed unanimously commented on how multinational food corporations receiving government subsidies and tax breaks and buying up their own suppliers has created unfair and unmanageable competition.
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Executive Summary
Executive Summary – Spanish Version