Unequal pay for women, people of color, the poor, and LGBTQ+ people isn’t just unfair to them.

It also has a significant effect on their lives, their ability to earn a decent and comfortable life, their ability to advance their careers, as well as their self-esteem and dignity at work.

For businesses, equal pay increases efficiency and productivity, helps attract the best employees, reduces costly turnover and staff absences, and sends a positive message to employees, customers and the general public about corporate values, which can lead to a better public image and more profits.

But if the government does not collect complete and accurate data on wage inequality, individuals cannot adequately fight for their rights, human rights organizations cannot take legal action to adequately, support organizations cannot adequately advocate for changes in policy and legislation, and businesses and industries cannot effectively assess or promote their own effectiveness in promoting equal pay.

Government law enforcement agencies that monitor wage discrimination cannot close the wage gap unless they know the size of the gap, who the most egregious offenders are, and what issues need the most attention. attention to resolve discrepancies.

“Improving the quality of wage data is an essential step in ensuring the rights of all workers, but it is especially necessary as women and workers from communities of color continue to face significant wage disparities,” said Jocelyn C. Frye, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families.

“The work of women of color, in particular, has been consistently devalued for decades. For example, National Partnership research shows that Latinas earn just 49 cents for every dollar that non-Hispanic white men are paid, the equivalent of two years’ rent.

“This allows the EEOC [federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] to enforce workers’ rights and provides the information needed to recognize when discriminatory pay decisions are being made. »

That’s why Thursday’s announcement by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and the EEOC is so important. Both groups announced plans to take steps to improve collection of salary data to enforce anti-discrimination protections and advance fair compensation.

More details will be released on Tuesday, when NASEM officially announces that it will appoint an ad hoc committee to review and assess the quality of compensation data the EEOC has been able to obtain from US employers.

The EEOC collected salary information from private sector employers and large-scale federal contractors for the first time in 2019.

A report released Thursday found that the compensation data collected by the EEOC was useful to the organization, but that changes needed to be made to its approach to collecting information.

NASEM officials say now is a good time to review the collection methods used, document lessons learned over the past three years, and identify areas for improvement.

The ad hoc committee also plans to review the EEOC’s methodology for collecting employer compensation data via Form EEO-1, as well as employer communication efforts.

They will also consider existing data quality frameworks to assess the data collected.

A final report will include findings and recommendations to help the EEOC better collect this vital information.

This, in turn, could help them do a better job enforcing federal laws that prohibit discrimination against employees and applicants.

And it could make the employment situation of women, people of color, the poor, and LGBTQ+ communities fairer and more helpful by enabling them to improve their lives in and out of the workplace.

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Categories: Editorial, Opinion