Statement on OMB's Decision to Block EEOC's Collection of Pay Data on the Basis of Gender, Race & Ethnicity

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From: Equal Pay Today!, a Project of the Tides Center

Contact: info@equalpaytoday.org, 202-588-7616, www.equalpaytoday.org

Printable version.

Washington, DC -- Equal Pay Today! – a non-partisan collaboration of organizations working to close the gender wage gap -- was profoundly disappointed to see President Trump's Office of Management and Budget stay the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) efforts to collect pay data from employers on the basis of sex, race and ethnicity. Joi Chaney, Equal Pay Today's Executive Director released the following statement:

"In the wake of the overt racism seen in Charlottesville, the overt sexism expressed in the so-called 'Google memo,' and everything we know about the gender and racial wage gap, it is clear that wage discrimination is still a challenge for the American workplace. Despite the Trump Administration’s many rollbacks on protections for women and persons of color, we hoped Ivanka Trump's repeated pledge that the Administration would be committed to closing the gender wage gap was sincere. In blocking the EEOC’s implementation of pay data collection on the basis of gender, race and ethnicity, the Administration has reminded us yet again that little is sacred, whether pledges or transparency and fairness.

"Salaries are often shrouded in secrecy, which makes unlawful pay disparities difficult to uncover. Without pay transparency, employees may only learn of disparities by accident and civil rights enforcement agencies are less able to detect and address discrimination. Pay data collection would provide incentive and ensure employers are living up to their commitment to be an equal opportunity employer, not only in hiring but also in compensation, by requiring them to confidentially report pay data to the EEOC. Because many employers already report other types of race, gender and ethnicity data using the EEO-1 and already have W-2 data, the burden is minimal to manageable and the benefits are monumental. Moreover, for employers not already doing a self-audit, EEO-1 pay data collection provides them insight into whether they have a wage gap and encourages them to do an audit.

"If you believe in transparency, if you believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant, if you believe in fairness, if you believe in equal pay, then you should have no problem with the EEOC -- a bipartisan, independent agency -- collecting pay data. That the Administration has chosen to block the EEOC's efforts suggests they don't believe in any of those things, which is a real letdown for the American workforce, especially women, people of color, and their families. They, we deserve better and will be watching to see how this is resolved."

Equal Pay Today is one of many voicing concerns with this decision including several of our member organizations:*

American Association of University Women

American Civil Liberties Union

Equal Rights Advocates

MomsRising

National Women’s Law Center

National Partnership For Women & Families

*This list will be updated online at http://www.equalpaytoday.org/news/.