A DoL news release said the tool would improve OFCCP’s ability to gather data that could be analyzed for indicators of discrimination, such as disparities faced by female and minority workers. To provide an opportunity for the public to submit feedback, the department published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in the August 10 edition of the Federal Register.
OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, which prohibits companies that do business with the federal government from discriminating in employment practices — including compensation — on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion. Last year, the agency announced plans to create a compensation data tool in the department’s fall 2010 regulatory agenda. In addition to providing OFCCP investigators with insight into potential pay discrimination warranting further review, the proposed tool would provide a self-assessment element to help employers evaluate the effects of their compensation practices.
According to the news release, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2010 women were paid an average of 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. In addition to the gender gap, research has shown that race- and ethnicity-based pay gaps put workers of color, including men, at a disadvantage. Eliminating compensation-based discrimination is a top priority for OFCCP.
The notice poses 15 questions for public response on the types of data that should be requested, the scope of information OFCCP should seek, how the data should be collected, how the data should be used, what the tool should look like, which contractors should be required to submit compensation data and how the tool might create potential burdens for small businesses. The proposal will be open to public response for 60 days, and the deadline for receiving comments is October 11.To read the proposal or submit a comment, visit the federal e-rulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov.
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