Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Why Federal Pay Data Collection Is Critical to Equity
Press Release

RELEASE: Why Federal Pay Data Collection Is Critical to Equity

Washington, D.C. — On July 13, 2023, the Senate confirmed attorney Kalpana Kotagal as a commissioner to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), offering promise for the reinstatement of federal pay data collection. A new issue brief from the Center for American Progress details the importance of breaking down gender and racial disparities in U.S. data pay collection.

The pay data collection program is operated through the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) and is a critical tool for achieving pay equity. It provides enforcement agencies—including the EEOC, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), and state labor departments—with better data to enforce civil rights laws and encourages employers to self-analyze their pay practices and address pay disparities. Allowing collection of pay data through the EEO-1 would allow the EEOC and the OFCCP to better focus their limited resources on combating pay discrimination and identify occupational segregation within particular firms, industries, and localities. 

To improve the EEO-1’s reporting, the issue brief makes five key recommendations to enhance efforts for pay equity and closing the gender wage gap. These recommendations include:

  • Incorporating the recommendations of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine
  • Developing new strategies for implementing pay data collection through the EEO-1
  • Considering the collection of pay data from more sizes of employers and federal contractors
  • Collecting pay data on LGBTQI+ people
  • Exploring the collection of pay data on other protected classes

With Kalpana Kotagal confirmed as a commissioner, the EEOC should take quick action to reinstate this work,” said Isabela Salas-Betsch, research associate for the Women’s Initiative at CAP and co-author of the brief. “Stronger enforcement of pay discrimination laws would help narrow the persistent gender wage gap that continues to harm women and families’ economic security across the United States.”

Read the issue brief:Why Federal Pay Data Collection Is Critical to Equity” by Isabela Salas-Betsch and Lauren Hoffman. 

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Sarah Nadeau at [email protected].

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