AAUW Praises Obama Administration on Recent Efforts to Close Pay Gap

September 29, 2016

 

AAUW congratulates the Obama administration and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for releasing their final rule for much-needed revisions to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1), which employers with 100 or more workers file annually. The form will now collect summary pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity. AAUW has long held that greater transparency is key in closing the gender pay gap, and this revision is a major step forward in those efforts. It will also be a useful tool for the many companies looking for ways to proactively address the pay gap.

In April 2014, President Barack Obama signed a presidential memorandum regarding the collection of pay data for federal contractors. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contracts Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission worked to improve and implement this idea, settling on a revision to the EEO-1 form to collect data in an efficient way — on an existing, required form — that does not overly burden employers.

This revision to the EEO-1 form is an innovative and responsive improvement over the April 2014 presidential memorandum. The revised form will cover more than 63 million employees and 60,000 employers, and the data collected will provide critical insights into the pay gap based on gender, race, and ethnicity. The reporting required by the EEO-1 form will help businesses to monitor their own pay practices to ensure that they are in compliance with all relevant state and federal laws and facilitate self-monitoring and proactive remedies of any gaps. It will also strengthen the EEOC’s existing technical assistance programs and enforcement efforts, furthering its charge to eliminate workplace discrimination. The reenvisioned data collection has the potential to lower both the compliance burden on businesses and the implementation costs to government. The new data will be reflected in the September 2017 report.

AAUW has long asserted that this kind of transparency is associated with a smaller pay gap and that implementing nationwide data collection is an important and proactive step in our collective efforts to ensure fair pay for all.

As AAUW Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy Lisa Maatz stated in her testimony to the EEOC in support of these revisions, “To eliminate the gender pay gap, we need good information. Access to appropriate data is necessary to shine a light on disparate pay practices, reveal trends, and support employers in proactively improving systems and correcting errors. With a record number of women in the workforce and nearly two-thirds of women functioning as primary or co-breadwinners for their families, equal pay for women — especially women of color — is critical to families’ economic security.”

 


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Lisa Maatz By:   |   September 29, 2016