A nonprofit in Memphis, Tenn., will no longer accept ads for its jobs board for positions that pay less than $15 an hour. And, all postings will require wage and salary information. The new policy started July 1.
In a public statement, Momentum Nonprofit Partners “no longer accepts job openings for any position paying less than the equivalent of $15 per hour or $31,200 per year.” According to a statement from Kevin Dean, executive director of Momentum, “research has shown that the exclusion of salary information disproportionately impacts women and people of color.”
The organization explained the rationale for the switch in a letter from Dean posted to the organization’s website. “Admittedly, there are systems that perpetuate a scarcity mindset in the nonprofit sector, but we can do better to ensure that nonprofit employees in Memphis are compensated appropriately for working diligently to combat the struggles faced by Memphians that seek support.”
Dean wrote that the sector’s work is important but that workers “should not be martyrs for our cause by compromising our ability to provide beyond the basic needs for ourselves and families. We all deserve to be compensated fairly.” He wrote that he hopes the change “will not only prompt dialogue within your organizations, with your boards, staff, and executive leadership but also initiate a paradigm shift in the nonprofit sector.”
Leaders in many cities are pushing for a living wage for workers with $15 an hour as the target. The increase is generally proposed in stages. New York City, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles have laws on the books getting the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour with the area of Tacoma, near Seattle, at $16. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
According to statistics from the nonprofit Catalyst in New York City, wage disparity also remains an issue. American women earned 81.8 percent of what men earned in 2017, based on the median weekly earnings for full-time wage and salary workers. This is compared to 62.3 percent in 1979.
Women earned a median of $770 weekly, while men earned $941, according to Catalyst. That’s women earning a median of $40,742 annually, and men earning $51,212.