USA: Trump administration halts rule requiring businesses to report worker pay data by gender & race

The White House has announced that it will halt a provision aimed at reducing pay gaps based on gender, race, and ethnicity. The provision passed under the Obama administration and would have required companies with more than 100 employees and federal contractors with at least 50 employees to report more detailed salary information broken down by gender, race and ethnicity, starting in spring 2018. The Trump administration has contended that data collection would be too burdensome for companies and questioned its effectiveness in addressing wage discrimination.

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Article
30 August 2017

Trump administration halts Obama-era rule to shrink the gender wage gap

Author: Danielle Paquette, Chicago Tribune

The Trump administration has halted a rule that would have required large companies to report to the government what they pay employees by race and gender... prompting outrage from groups who note that women and minorities still aren't receiving equal pay for equal work... Starting [in spring 2018], companies with more than 100 employees and federal contractors with at least 50 would have had to report more detailed salary data to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on a form they already annually submit to the agency... In a lettter to the... the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Neomi Rao, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs said the Office of Management and Budget had paused the government's pay data collection process to review it. "OMB is concerned that some aspects of the revised collection of information lack practical utility, are unnecessarily burdensome, and do not adequately address privacy and confidentiality issues," Rao wrote, according to documents obtained by the Post... Ivanka Trump released a statement hours later. "Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results," she said. "We look forward to continuing to work with EEOC, OMB, Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap."... Some in the business community strongly opposed the measure, saying it added an unfair burden to a company's workload. Others said the data would not have offered a clear enough picture to right any economic wrongs... Federal law has banned pay discrimination since 1963. Women, though, still earn an average of 79 cents for every dollar paid to men. The gap is larger for black women, who take home 60 cents for every white man's dollar, and Hispanic women, who average out at 55 cents.

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Article
30 August 2017

White House stops plan for companies to report worker pay by race and gender

Author: James F. Peltz, Los Angeles Times

The White House has halted an Obama administration rule that would require businesses to report worker pay data by gender, race and ethnic groups in hopes of narrowing wage gaps among workers... Siding with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others, [the administration] contended that the data collection would be too burdensome for firms and questioned how effective the information might be in fighting wage discrimination... The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had proposed that all employers with at least 100 workers submit the data across 10 job categories and 12 pay ranges on a form they already are required to submit annually that includes employment data by gender, race and ethnicity... Specific salaries would not be reported and the data would not be made public. The EEOC said it would analyze the information to better focus investigations into unlawful pay practices... Critics [of the Trump's administration's decision]... were outraged. “Make no mistake — it’s an all-out attack on equal pay,” Fatima Goss Graves, president of the National Women’s Law Center, said in a statement. “Today’s action sends a clear message to employers: If you want to ignore pay inequities and sweep them under the rug, this administration has your back.”...Randy Johnson, a senior vice president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber was “gratified” by the White House decision in part because the chamber estimated that it would cost employers $1.3 billion a year. 

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Article
30 August 2017

With Ivanka Trump’s Blessing, White House Ditches Equal Pay Rule

Author: Emily Peck, Huffington Post

The Trump administration halted a key equal pay initiative... put in place by the Obama administration... requir[ing] employers to report aggregate information on how much they pay workers ― broken down by gender, race and ethnicity ― [which] would have been a critical first step in figuring out the scope of the pay gap at different companies. Instead, the Office of Management and Budget said in a memo... that it was halting implementation so it could review the provision, citing concerns about paperwork and privacy... “[This] spits in the eye of gender equality and in the eyes of women and people of color who are so often paid less and do not know,” [according to Vicki Shabo, vice president for workplace policy and strategy at the National Partnership for Women and Families.]... Starting a few years ago, tech companies have made their Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports public, which has led to a painful ― but fruitful ― discussion about the lack of women in the tech industry... “Having pay data in summary form will help us identify patterns that may warrant further investigation,” the former chairwoman of the EEOC said last year. In the past, she said, “we’d learn about a pay-discrimination problem because someone saw a piece of paper left on a copy machine or someone was complaining about their salary to co-workers.”... Most employers were already preparing to file this data, according to Shabo. Indeed, in recent years, activist shareholders have been pressuring public companies to report data ― a few companies, including Apple and Amazon, have started opening up about gender and pay... Stopping the Obama administration provision from going into effect was the result of an orchestrated effort by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the federal contractors business lobby and anti-worker and anti-regulatory senators on the Hill, Shabo said. It’s even more disappointing because the provision already represented a compromised effort, she added. “It wasn’t as comprehensive or as detailed as we would’ve liked. This was something that was put together with the ease and efficiency of the employer community in mind.”

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