Press Releases

Democratic Women’s Caucus Leads 62 Members in Amicus Brief Opposing Trump Admin Decision That Hinders Progress in Closing the Gender, Racial Wage Gaps

f t # e
Washington, October 28, 2019 | comments

Washington, DC – On Friday, Co-Chairs of the Democratic Women’s Caucus (DWC) Representatives Lois Frankel (FL-21), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Jackie Speier (CA-14), and Vice Chairs Representatives Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Deb Haaland (NM-01) were joined by 57 colleagues in filing an amicus brief to the  D.C. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in National Women’s Law Center v. Office of Management and Budget, opposing the Trump Administration’s appeal to overturn an order requiring the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to collect pay data from large companies.

In 2016, the Obama Administration directed the EEOC to collect pay data from large companies. This data is vital to helping the EEOC detect patterns of pay discrimination and enforce equal pay laws. The EEOC’s decision not to comply with this directive raises serious questions about whether the Administration will continue to protect workers from pay discrimination.

Advocacy groups including the National Women’s Law Center and Democracy Forward sued the Administration and won. In March 2019, a federal district court judge ordered the Trump Administration to collect two years of pay data, as would have occurred had the collection not been halted in 2017. The EEOC agreed to comply with this court order and is currently collecting pay data for 2017 and 2018. However, the EEOC announced that it will not collect pay data for any additional years and the Trump Administration has proceeded to appeal the lower court’s decision to require the two years of pay data collection.

The brief states in part, “Equal pay is an issue of economic fairness and is essential for women and their families across the country. In 2018, women in the U.S. who work full time, year-round were paid only 80 cents, on average, for every dollar paid to men - and for women of color the wage gap is even larger.”

The brief continues, “The gender and racial wage gaps result in families having less money to spend on goods and services that help drive economic growth. Research shows that if the wage gaps were eliminated, on average, a working woman in the United States would have enough money for approximately thirteen more months of child care, ten additional months of rent, seven additional months of mortgage and utility payments, the full cost of tuition and fees for a two-year college, seven additional months of premiums for employer-based health insurance, over eight additional years of birth control, more than seventy weeks of food, or enough money to pay off student loan debt in just under three years.”

For the full text of the amicus brief, click here.

On October 2, 2019, all DWC leadership signed a letter to the EEOC opposing the decision to halt progress toward closing the gender and racial wage gap.

 

###

f t # e