August 30, 2017

WASHINGTON — The White House Office of Management and Budget announced today that it would immediately halt implementation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) equal pay data collection initiative, set to go into effect in March 2018. The decision relieves the nation’s largest employers and federal contractors from providing information about their employees’ compensation — sorted by sex, race, and ethnicity — to government civil rights enforcement agencies.

American Civil Liberties Union National Political Director Faiz Shakir had the following reaction:

“The Trump administration’s decision to suspend the EEOC’s equal pay data collection initiative is only the latest evidence that it has no interest in rooting out gender and racial inequality in the workplace.

“The data collection at issue is a critical tool to lift the cloak of secrecy that shrouds pay decisions in this country. Without such transparency, the pernicious gender and race wage gaps, and the discrimination that causes them, will continue to flourish.

“The data collection measures were adopted after extensive public comment and would have deterred intentional pay disparities, facilitated employers’ good faith efforts to comply with equal pay laws, and identified appropriate targets for federal enforcement of nondiscrimination law.

“The decision to scrap the initiative is an attack on our nation’s workers. Instead of taking common sense steps to promote equal pay for all, the administration sided with those in the business lobby most committed to preserving the status quo. But we are not bowed. Despite this setback, we will continue to fight pay discrimination against women and people of color in the courts, in Congress, and in the states.”

An ACLU letter in support of the EEOC equal pay data collection initiative is available here: https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_document/aclu_comment-eeoc_revision_of_employer_information_report_eeo-1_re_com.pdf

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