At Mehri & Skalet, we support equal pay, fair pay, and workers’ rights to be free from pay discrimination. We believe that wage transparency will help end the pay gap. That’s why M&S Partner Ellen Eardley recently wrote an amicus brief on behalf of former Obama Administration officials that supports efforts to ensure that the federal government collect pay data from employers.
During the Obama Administration, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the federal agencies charged with enforcing laws that prohibit pay discrimination worked together—and with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval—to implement a process to collect pay data from employers. The EEOC and OFCCP intended to collect compensation data to assist the agencies with their efforts to end persistent pay discrimination and to close the wage gap.
In August 2017, during the Trump Administration, OMB stayed the EEOC’s collection of pay data. The National Women’s Law Center and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement filed suit, urging the federal court to require OMB to follow the law and collect the data.
In March 2019, a federal district court ruled that OMB could not stop the collection of pay data, but the OMB appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
On October 25, 2019, Jenny Yang, former EEOC chair, and Pat Shiu, former OFCCP filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit arguing that OMB’s abrupt stay of the pay data collection, “undermined EEOC and OFCCP’s multi-year efforts to study and implement effective methods to address pay discrimination and enhance enforcement.” Moreover, “OMB’s unlawful stay frustrates EEOC and OFCCP’s goal of ending pay discrimination in employment, reduces the agencies’ ability to ensure voluntary compliance, and impedes efficient enforcement activities.”
M&S Partner Ellen Eardley co-authored the brief with attorneys at Working IDEAL.
Read the media coverage from Law360, Pay Data Rule Wrongly Delayed, Former Officials Tell DC Circuit.