Oh, glorious spring! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and all of the metaphorical references to the significance of the season begin again. It’s time to renew, revive, recharge! Unfortunately, federal efforts to collect employee compensation data more closely resemble a tree in winter: frozen and dormant; its fruit trapped in its branches.
A coalition of advocates for equal pay recently sent a letter to President Obama highlighting the problem:
[T]here currently is no mechanism for federal enforcement agencies to detect widespread wage discrimination, even when it occurs in our nation’s largest employers.
If alarm bells aren’t going off inside your brain right now, here’s why they should be:
The good news is OFCCP has already carefully prepared the soil and planted the seeds: OFCCP proposed a new compensation data collection tool in 2011, saying“[t]he [proposed tool] comes at a critical time for our nation’s workforce. Women still earn only 77 cents for each dollar earned by a man.” It is time for OFCCP to finalize and implement this new tool, and for the EEOC to take the next steps toward implementing data collection for the private sector workforce.
For those in need of a little seasonal inspiration on this depressing day in 2013 on which women’s wages have finally caught up to what men were paid in 2012, have a listen to They Say It’s Spring by Blossom Dearie.
And then – in the spirit of spring – let’s breathe new life into the fight for equal pay by calling on OFCCP and EEOC to implement data collection tools to detect and remedy pay discrimination.