Trump shelves pro­posed rule crack­ing down on pay dis­par­ity

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY DAVE BOYER

Pres­i­dent Trump is shelv­ing a pro­posal from the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion re­quir­ing large em­ploy­ers to re­port salary data based on sex and race, which would have en­abled the fed­eral govern­ment to crack down on pay dis­par­i­ties between men and women.

The White House Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Bud­get no­ti­fied the Equal Em­ploy­ment Op­por­tu­nity Com­mis­sion that it has de­cided to “stay” and re­view the pro­posed reg­u­la­tion, which was is­sued by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama last Septem­ber.

OMB said it is con­cerned that col­lec­tions of the ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion from em­ploy­ers “lack prac­ti­cal util­ity, are un­nec­es­sar­ily bur­den­some, and do not ad­e­quately ad­dress pri­vacy and con­fi­den­tial­ity is­sues,” said Neomi Rao, ad­min­is­tra­tor of the White House Of­fice of In­for­ma­tion and Reg­u­la­tory Af­fairs.

Busi­nesses ob­jected loudly last year when Mr. Obama an­nounced the pro­posed rule, say­ing it would let the govern­ment stick its nose into how salaries are set in the pri­vate sec­tor.

The re­vised “EEO-1” form had not yet been is­sued to em­ploy­ers, but a senior ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial said com­pa­nies would have needed to start “ramp­ing up” com­pli­ance ef­forts next month to pre­pare for the ad­di­tional pa­per­work re­quire­ments, which by one es­ti­mate would have cost em­ploy­ers $400 mil­lion col­lec­tively.

In an unusual step, the White House is­sued a state­ment from pres­i­den­tial daugh­ter and ad­viser Ivanka Trump sup­port­ing the move. Ms. Trump is a prom­i­nent voice in the West Wing ad­vo­cat­ing for women in the work­place.

“Ul­ti­mately, while I be­lieve the in­ten­tion was good and agree that pay trans­parency is im­por­tant, the pro­posed pol­icy would not yield the in­tended re­sults,” Ms. Trump 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.”

Small Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tor Linda McMa­hon also said she sup­ports the move be­cause the re­vised EEOC form would have “harmed” ef­forts to pro­mote pay equity.

“Al­most ev­ery large busi­ness started small, and there is no bet­ter way to ar­rest the am­bi­tions of Amer­ica’s entrepreneurs then to saddle their vi­sion with the bur­den of un­nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tion,” she said. “The ef­fort to pre­vent gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion is an im­por­tant public pol­icy goal of this ad­min­is­tra­tion, of state and lo­cal govern­ment, and for my­self as an ad­vo­cate of girls and women in busi­ness and as a for­mer fe­male busi­ness owner. That no­ble pur­suit is harmed — not helped — by the re­vised EEO-1 form, which is why I sup­port the stay and re­view.”

The White House also said the pro­posed rule on salary data doesn’t meet the stan­dards of the Pa­per­work Re­duc­tion Act of 1995, which re­quires agen­cies to ob­tain OMB ap­proval be­fore re­quest­ing most types of in­for­ma­tion from the public.

Mr. Obama an­nounced his in­ten­tion to im­ple­ment the new rule in Jan­uary 2016, re­quir­ing em­ploy­ers with more than 100 work­ers and fed­eral con­trac­tors with more than 50 em­ploy­ees to re­port salary data based on race, sex and eth­nic­ity.

The data would have en­abled the EEOC to in­ves­ti­gate and sue com­pa­nies pay­ing women less than their male coun­ter­parts, and also to lit­i­gate pay dis­par­i­ties between mi­nori­ties and white em­ploy­ees.

The move did not re­quire con­gres­sional ap­proval.

In April, Sen. La­mar Alexan­der, Ten­nessee Repub­li­can and chair­man of the Se­nate Health, Ed­u­ca­tion, La­bor and Pen­sions Com­mit­tee, wrote with Sen. Pat Roberts, Kansas Repub­li­can, ask­ing the White House to re­scind the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s pro­posal due to the added bur­dens it would place on em­ploy­ers.

The law­mak­ers said the re­vised EEOC form would in­crease by 20 times the amount of em­ploy­ment data col­lected from 61,000 pri­vate em­ploy­ers on their 63 mil­lion em­ploy­ees.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.