The libertarian-leaning Libertas Institute
of Utah has expressed opposition to a bill proposed by Utah state Senator Jake Anderegg (R) that the organization says would force companies to adopt and disclose to employees a written policy that is used by the employer to determine how employees are compensated, or which benefits are provided, based on the employee’s performance. Anderegg’s intent for Senate Bill 210, said Libertas, is to address the issue of women not being paid as much as men for similar work.
In a statement on the group’s website, the rationale for its opposition to the bill is made clear:
“It is not the proper role of government to compel a business owner to adopt and disclose a compensation policy, nor is it a justified use of taxpayer dollars to study and catalog employee wages, nor conduct an advertising campaign of the same.”
If passed into law, companies employing 15 or more persons in Utah for 20 or more weeks of the year would be compelled to comply. They would also be prohibited from changing the criteria in these policies within six months of when they apply to an employee, to delay the ability of an employer to change the compensation expectations of each employee.
Additionally, the Senate Bill 210 requires Utah’s Department of Workforce Services to “conduct a study that analyzes any difference in pay between men and women in the state” and present the findings to the legislature. The department is also required to “create and maintain an index of the current pay range for individuals employed in [each] occupation in the state.” Finally, the department is required to (using taxpayer dollars) “conduct an advertising campaign to promote the availability and utility” of the index.
Libertas, like the American Civil Liberties Union, opposes the criminalization of the use of marijuana, while it supports the right of ride-sharing services such as Uber to conduct business. The group also opposes the death penalty.
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