Charlie Langton explains proposed pay disclosure legislation

Charlie Langton explains proposed pay disclosure legislation

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Fox 2 Legal Analyst Charlie Langton asked metro Detroiters how they feel about coworkers knowing how much they make. Fox 2 Legal Analyst Charlie Langton asked metro Detroiters how they feel about coworkers knowing how much they make.
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

It's a tough question and a controversial issue. Are you paid the same as your coworkers?

Michigan lawmakers want to make it easier for you to find out. New legislation is aimed at closing the pay gap between men and women.

Right now, Michigan's pay gap is the seventh largest in the country, with women earning an average of 74 cents for every dollar men make.

Fox 2 Legal Analyst Charlie Langton wanted to know how metro Detroiters feel about the pay gap.

Here are some of the responses he received:

"No point in paying a person $1 million and paying another person $1,000 and they're doing the same job."

"Your coworkers shouldn't know what you're making. It messes with morale."

"I don't want Bobby to be making ten times more than what I'm making and Sally's making ten times less than what I'm making and we're all doing the exact same job."

"I'd like to do the strongest job, and as long as I'm getting paid fairly, then who cares what the other person is actually making? That's their business."

So what would this proposed legislation actually do?

"The bill would essentially say if I'm a woman -- or a man -- and I believe my counterpart, who is doing the same job as I'm doing, if they're making more, the boss will have to disclose the sex of the person, the seniority of the person, and the salary of those people that are doing the same job as I'm doing," Langton says.

However, if you find out someone is making more than you, it doesn't entitle you to a raise. It just means that your employer is required to explain why you are making less.

"There could be a lot of other reasons - you may be a better worker, or you had more experience, or whatever the reason is, as long as it's not just based on the mere fact that you're a man and that's it," Langton says. "If the boss can't say, or there's a pattern, which is really what this legislation is designed to do, show patterns, then there may be a case."

Similar legislation is pending in Congress.

Interested in hearing more about pay equality? Tune in to Let it Rip Weekend this Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Fox 2.

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