In a notice published today in the Federal Register, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) deems the two years of pay data being collected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of no use because “it does not expect to find significant utility in the data.”
The pay data collection was instituted in 2016 by the Obama EEOC as a vehicle to enforce gender and race pay equity, but the incoming Trump administration promptly canceled the initiative, saying that the agency hadn’t provided enough time for public commentary.
The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) then sued, and a federal judge in the District of Columbia reinstated the data collection for two years. The EEOC keeps trying to wrap up the currently ongoing collection of Component 2 pay data — broken down by job category, race, sex and ethnicity — for 2017 and 2018, but the judge has ordered the agency to keep collecting until at least Jan. 31, 2020. (The original deadline was Sept. 30, 2019.)
In light of the EEOC’s recent announcement that it would not collect data beyond the court-ordered period, coupled with the OFCCP’s dismissal of the data as not useful, Emily Martin, vice president for education and workplace Justice at the NWLC, said that decision “makes it clear that its priority is protecting employers from scrutiny rather than enforcing pay discrimination laws.”