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5/3: Most Americans Oppose Pay Transparency

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5/3: Most Americans Oppose Pay Transparency

 More than seven in ten Americans do not think private companies should be required to publish the salaries of its employees nor do they believe private companies should disclose the wages of its employees internally.  When it comes to disclosing one’s personal salary, about two-thirds of Americans oppose such publication, according to an Exclusive Point Taken-Marist Poll, commissioned by WGBH Boston for its new late-night, multi-platform PBS debate series Point Taken.  However, Americans favor including a range of salary or wages in new job postings instead of a fixed rate of pay.

The national survey was conducted by The Marist Poll in advance of this week’s Point Taken episode, airing Tuesday, May 3rd at 11pmET (check local listings) and streaming on pbs.org/pointtaken. The series is hosted by Carlos Watson, Emmy Award winning journalist and OZY Media co-founder and CEO.

72% of Americans do not think private companies should be required to publish salaries and believe most people’s salaries should remain private.  Racial differences exist.  White residents, 79%, are more likely than non-white Americans, 61%, to say companies should not publicize the amount each employee earns.

What do Americans think would be the result of making salaries public?  58% of Americans think doing so would cause conflict between employees rather than increasing fairness of pay within the company.  White residents, 63%, are more likely than non-white residents, 51%, to think publically releasing salary amounts would cause friction within companies.

When it comes to internally disclosing the salaries of a company’s employees, 73% of Americans report salaries should remain private for most people.  Here, gender differences are present.  Men, 79%, are more likely than women, 67%, to say employees’ wages should not be published within companies for everyone to see.

“There’s no doubt that when it comes to publishing wages, most Americans think it’s a sensitive topic and a private matter,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

“The issue of salary transparency and compensation are headline news this year”, says Denise DiIanni, series creator and Senior Executive in Charge. “Questions of gender and racial disparities in compensation warrant a deeper dive.  Point Taken will take the conversation further in tonight’s debate.”

When it comes to publically disclosing their own salaries, 66% of U.S. residents say they would prefer that information not be made public.  More than three in four Americans, 77%, favor the inclusion of a range of salary or wages in new job postings.

Complete May 3, 2016 USA Exclusive Point Taken – Marist Poll Release
Complete May 3, 2016 USA Exclusive Point Taken – Marist Poll Banners (Banner 1: Gender, Race, Age, Education, Income)
Complete May 3, 2016 USA Exclusive Point Taken – Marist Poll Banners (Banner 2: Generation, Party ID, Ideology)
Marist Poll Methodology
Marist Poll Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

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