Employment discrimination laws are designed to ensure that nobody is paid less for their work on account of race, gender, or national origin. The problem is that pay discrimination is often difficult to prove. Many employees have have no idea what their co-workers earn, which means they are not in a position to even know if they are victims of discrimination.
To address problem, in 2014 then-President Barack Obama ordered the U.S. Department of Labor to “develop a compensation data collection proposal,” requiring federal contractors to submit “summary” information showing compensation paid to their employees by sex and race. This order eventually led the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to propose an amendment to its own data collection form, known as an EEO-1. The EEOC said all employers with at least 100 employees would have to disclose “aggregate data on pay ranges and hours worked” for all employees according to race, ethnicity, sex, and job category.
The amended EEOC rules were to have taken effect this September. But on August 29, President Donald J. Trump's administration informed the EEOC it was “initiating a review and immediate stay” of the pay data requirements. In a letter to the EEOC, Neomi Rao, the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), said the agency could “continue to use the previously approved EEO-1 form to collect data on race/ethnicity and gender,” but could not ask for any salary data pending the administration's review.
Rao said the “relevant circumstances related to the collection” of salary data had changed since the EEOC initially announced its plans. Specifically, Rao said the EEOC altered the “data file specifications” employers would need to use without affording the public an opportunity to review and comment, as is required by federal law. As a result, Rao said a review is necessary to ensure the EEOC's data collection does not unduly burden employers.
But in addition to concerns with the EEOC's process in implementing the new data collection rule, it appears that members of the Trump administration object to the underlying policy itself. Ivanka Trump, a White House advisor and the president's daughter, said in a separate statement that while “pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended result.” Trump said the administration still planned to “work with EEOC, OMB, Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap.”
Are You a Victim of the Gender Wage Gap?
The wage gap is an all-too-real problem for many female employees. Even in a relatively progressive state like New York, women tend to earn only 89% as much as men, according to the American Association of University Women. If you are among the women who have suffered pay or any other type of sex-based discrimination at work, you need to speak with a qualified New York employment law attorney who can advise you of what steps to take next. Contact the Law Offices of Mahir S. Nisar in New York City or Long Island today to schedule a consultation.