Would you be ok getting paid less than your co-workers, simply because they were vaccinated and you weren’t?
For years, we have been hearing about the unfair gap in salaries between men and women. Some studies have gone so far as to break it down by gender and then by race, to try to show an even greater disparity, especially for people of color.
Even the President is in on the act.
Is it safe to assume that some employers pay men better than women? Of course. And is it also safe to assume that most Americans would disagree with that employers tactics? Most likely.
In fact, it might be safe to assume that the overwhelming majority of people would say that, all things considered and equal, men and women should be paid the same.
If they have the same qualifications, education and experience and are in the same role with the same responsibility, then yes, that should come with matching compensations.
Should one of those people possess greater, education, experience or responsibilities, then perhaps there is a reason for greater pay. And that is true regardless of whether they are male or female.
In this country, we do fight against discrimination of any sort, even in salary.
So, why now are we ok with companies reducing the pay of their employees that are unvaccinated, creating a discriminatory wage gap?
According to Mercer, the nation’s largest health benefits consultant:
“Employers have tried encouraging employees to get vaccinated through offering incentives like paid time off and cash, but with the Delta variant driving up infections and hospitalizations throughout the country – at the same time that vaccination rates have stalled – we have received inquiries from at least 20 employers over the past few weeks who are giving consideration to adding health coverage surcharges for the unvaccinated as a way to drive up vaccination rates in their workforce,” said Wade Symons, Mercer’s regulatory resources group leader.
So, how is it that people would shudder to think a woman was intentionally being paid less than a man, but no one would blink an eye at deducting pay from workers without their consent over their vaccination status?
Why are we ok with fighting so hard to make sure that there are no second-class citizens, only to create a world where we are ok with second-class citizens?
And, why would we be ok allowing such measures by companies when the people it would impact the most are people of color?
As reported by Yahoo! Finance, 61% of those vaccinated in the US are white, while 17% are Hispanic and 12% are black.