Repeal of Pay Transparency Rule Will Make It Easier to Discriminate Against Women and People of Color
By Valerie Wilson, Economic Policy Institute
On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced a “review and immediate stay” of the EEO-1 pay data collection rule, which was an Obama-era rule issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The rule would have required large companies (with 100 or more employees) to confidentially report to the EEOC information about what they pay their employees by job category, sex, race, and ethnicity. Pay transparency is key in leveling the playing field in order to eliminate employer discrimination.
This move is just another example of how the Trump administration’s campaign rhetoric on supporting working people has been followed by actions that hurt them at every turn. Further, this decision runs counter to what the research shows—inequities have gotten worse, not better. Even among workers with the same level of education and work experience, black-white wage gaps are larger today than nearly 40 years ago and gender pay disparities have remained essentially unchanged for at least 15 years. In both cases, discrimination has been shown to be a major factor in the persistence of those gaps.
As my colleague Marni von Wilpert notes, by staying the equal pay data rule, the Trump administration is making it harder for employers and federal agencies to identify pay disparities and root out employment discrimination—and it will make it more difficult for working people to know when they are being discriminated against. When this rule was first announced, former EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang stated, “Collecting pay data is a significant step forward in addressing discriminatory pay practices. This information will assist employers in evaluating their pay practices to prevent pay discrimination and strengthen enforcement of our federal anti-discrimination laws.” By staying this rule, the Trump administration has shown that it does not value equal pay for equal work.