Compensation May Be An Issue That Candidates on Both Sides of the Aisle Are Willing To Embrace

From his earliest days
in office, President Barack Obama has made combatting compensation discrimination
a top priority.  As we are often reminded, The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay
Act was the very first bill he signed into law.  Not long thereafter, the
White House created the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force, a cross
agency task force aimed at finding ways to crack down on violations of equal
pay laws.   As this President’s term begins to wind down, we have
seen the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) agencies take action.  In
June, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) issued new Sex
Discrimination Regulations.  Earlier this month, the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in coordination with OFCCP, published revised
guidelines that will require employers to include employee compensation
information in their annual EEO-1 reports.  If the Office of Management
and Budget approves, beginning in March 2018, employers with 100 employees or
more must share employee pay data with the EEOC and the OFCCP annually.

If last week was any
indication, employers, who may have been ignoring the issue under the guise
that the increased federal focus on compensation is sure to dissipate in a
Trump administration, are likely to be in for quite a surprise.  At the
Republican National Committee convention last week, the Trump campaign appeared
ready to embrace equal pay.  During Ivanka Trump’s address to the
convention last Thursday, the GOP candidate’s daughter emphasized the need to
focus on women’s compensation issues.  Ivanka Trump said of her father, “as
President … will change the labor laws that were put in place at a time when
women weren’t a significant portion of the workplace”
 and
“fight for equal pay for equal work.”  Although Donald Trump did not address the
issue in his lengthy acceptance speech, on a number of occasions the GOP
Presidential candidate has indicated that he is studying it  closely and
suggested that the campaign may be introducing equal pay policy proposals in
the not too distant future.

And it is not just the
Republican Presidential candidate that is focusing on compensation.  In a
surprise to many, outside the formal political platform process, last week
Congressman Luke Messer (IN), the Chair of the U.S. House of Representatives
Republican Policy Committee announced that House Republicans have formed a Working
Group on Women in the 21st Century Workforce
.  The Working Group,
which will be chaired by Congresswoman Martha McSally (AZ). will focus on pay
disparity and other barriers impacting women in the workforce. 

FortneyScott will
continue to monitor this issue and anticipate that fair pay issues will garner
even greater attention at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week.
 If you are interested in receiving future development at the national as
well as the state level, please contact FortneyScott
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