Press Release

Advocates Sue To Stop Illegal Trump Administration Rollback of Equal Pay Rule

Posted on November 15, 2017 Issues: Equal Pay & the Wage Gap Workplace

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democracy Forward and the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) filed a lawsuit today against the Trump Administration on behalf of NWLC and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement for illegally rolling back critical pay transparency requirements intended to root out discrimination and close the wage gap.  The suit, which was filed against the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and government officials, seeks to reinstate the requirement that companies with 100 or more employees report how much they pay their workers by race, gender, and ethnicity.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, follows the Trump Administration’s abrupt reversal in August 2017 of the previously approved EEOC collection of employee pay data.  This equal pay data collection was the result of a six-year process, which included multiple lengthy public notice and comment periods.  Even though the EEOC determined that collecting this pay data was “necessary” to enforce equal pay laws, the Administration claimed it had no “practical utility” and eliminated this essential tool with virtually no explanation and no opportunity for public comment.  As a result, the roughly 60,886 employers covered by the rule—who collectively employ 63 million workers—are empowered to continue to shield race and gender pay gaps from scrutiny.

“If it wasn’t clear before, it’s crystal clear now: women–and the families relying on women’s paychecks–are at the bottom of the Trump Administration’s agenda,” said Emily Martin, NWLC General Counsel and Vice President for Workplace Justice. “By stopping the equal pay data collection, this Administration has shown that its loyalties lie with corporate employers who want to hide pay discrimination under the rug.  We will not allow this to go unchallenged.”

Despite President Trump’s claim that women will “make the same if you do as good a job” as men, U.S. women currently are paid $0.80 for every dollar their white male counterparts make. For women of color this gap is even bigger, with Latina and African-American women making $0.54 and $0.63 on the dollar, respectively, compared to white, non-Hispanic men. 

“Workers’ rights are under attack by the Trump Administration and Latinas are among the most adversely affected,” said Hector E. Sanchez Barba, Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. “Latinas are a growing force in the labor market but over a 40-year career will be paid over $1 million less than white, male workers—and the Trump Administration’s decision makes it easier for this underpayment to go unchecked.”

“The Trump Administration has shown that it is willing to take illegal actions to suppress the facts about pay discrimination and shut down a key tool needed to close the wage gap,” said Democracy Forward Executive Director Anne Harkavy. “In an economy where 40 percent of mothers are either the sole or primary breadwinners in their homes, President Trump isn’t just shortchanging women, he’s shortchanging entire families and communities.”

This press release was published together with the National Women’s Law Center and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

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For immediate release: November 15, 2017
Contact:  Maria Patrick (mpatrick@nwlc.org) or Olympia Feil (ofeil@nwlc.org)

The National Women’s Law Center is a non-profit organization that has been working since 1972 to advance and protect women’s equality and opportunity. The Center focuses on major policy areas of importance to women and their families including economic security, education, employment and health, with special attention given to the concerns of low-income women.

The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) is the leading national organization for Latino(a) workers and their families. LCLAA was born in 1972 out of the need to educate, organize and mobilize Latinos in the labor movement and has expanded its influence to organize Latinos in an effort to impact workers’ rights and their influence in the political process. LCLAA represents the interest of more than 2 million Latino workers in the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations  (AFL-CIO), The Change to Win Federation, Independent Unions and all its membership.

Democracy Forward is a nonprofit legal organization that scrutinizes Executive Branch activity across policy areas represents clients in litigation to challenge unlawful actions, and educates the public when the White House or federal agencies break the law

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