While the rule was thrown out, the administration left the door open for the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) to propose a new method of collecting the data. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) led the effort to include the initiative in an appropriations bill, but Thursday's 223-192 vote against the amendment could make this impossible.
"The failed DeLauro-Frankel-Scott amendment would have preserved the EEOC's ability to take meaningful action to eliminate the gender and race pay gaps," said Vania Leveille, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), in a press release. "Any claims of support for equal pay truly ring hollow in light of this vote."
It appears that whenever this Congress has the opportunity to advance gender and racial equality, it chooses instead to say no. We are disappointed that 223 members of the House of Representatives said no to an amendment that would have preserved funding for a critical equal pay initiative that would have lifted the cloak of secrecy shrouding pay decisions in this country.
Without transparency, the pernicious gender and race wage gaps, and the discrimination that causes them, will continue to flourish.
The amendment failed to pass as a class-action lawsuit was filed against Google on behalf of all women employed by the tech giant over the past four years, alleging that the company "segregates" women into lower-paying jobs than their male counterparts' positions.
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Last week, the New York Times obtained a spreadsheet detailing Google salaries which employees had taken it upon themselves to compile.
The ACLU argues that government accountability for such disparaties would make fact-finding missions by employees unnecessary in the future.
Had the amendment passed, said Leveille, "The EEOC's data collection would have deterred intentional pay disparities, facilitated employers' good faith efforts to comply with equal pay laws, and identified appropriate targets for federal enforcement of nondiscrimination law."