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Seattle’s Ice Cream Queen Shines a Spotlight on Pay Transparency

Source | www.seattlemag.com | ROB SMITH

Molly Moon Neitzel anticipated some blowback when she announced in April that her eponymous ice cream company would make payroll visible to all employees. But that negative feedback never came.

A few employees asked for more money. In a couple of cases, they got it. But one worker did catch Neitzel off guard by advocating for a colleague. “They saw this other person on the pay sheet and said, ‘I don’t think this person makes enough money,’” says Neitzel, who founded Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream in Wallingford in 2008. “This person has no direct connection, but they were sticking up for someone else in the company. I ended up saying to myself, ‘This person is right.’”

Neitzel is at the forefront of state and national efforts to tackle systemic pay inequity. Washington recently became one of 17 states that ban employers from asking about salary history—a move that supporters say will prevent pay discrimination and close the wage gap. The measure protects employees’ rights to share their pay information with coworkers, regardless of company policy. In March, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar bill, though the Senate has yet to vote on it.

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