As stated in our previous post, we will now cover the proper steps to take in order to minimize risk when deciding to share wage and benefit information with a competitor. The safest course of action for human resource directors to follow is to not discuss wage and benefit information with competitors except in controlled and limited situations. The following is a summary of the steps that WageWatch recommends to minimize your risk if you intend to share data:
- Employers should act unilaterally about setting wages and benefits. There should not be an agreement or understanding, written or oral, with respect to fixing, maintaining or stabilizing wages and benefits.
- The wage and benefit information should not be exchanged directly between employers. This means no phone calls or round tables where information is exchanged.
- A third party should be utilized in order to make sure that no employer has direct access to each other’s data. Participation in a WageWatch compensation survey can be part of a defense against accusations of antitrust violations. The WageWatch Hospitality Industry Competitive Market Survey complies with all DOJ safe harbor guidelines.
- The information that is disseminated by the third party should be aggregated. The ranges or averages of the wages and benefits cannot be disseminated if it can be related to a particular organization or a specific job. This eliminates the once prevalent practice of tabulating the data for each employer in a spreadsheet format even if the name of the particular employer associated with that data was excluded.
- Each aggregated wage or benefit statistic disseminated should be a composite of at least five different employers.
- The disseminated statistics must be “historical”. This means the older the better. The aggregated information disseminated to participants should not reflect current or prospective wages and benefits. Current is defined as wages or benefits that having been in effect for less than three months.
While the above is an overview of steps to be taken when considering exchanging wage and benefit information between hotels, consultation with your legal counsel is recommended before participating in any exchange of wage and benefit information with competitors.
WageWatch provides expert services across multiple industries and geographic markets with cost-effective online compensation and salary surveys. We are an innovative organization that is always on the lookout for new ways to collect compensation and salary data for surveys and wage reports, allowing us to expand continuously into new industries and markets.
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