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News Release

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment Standards Administration

ESA Press Release: Labor Department Announces Proposed Changes To Reinforce Equal Pay Between Women and Men [04/02/1998]

For more information call: 202/219-8211

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration (ESA) announces plans to expand its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to address pay discrimination issues. The announcement was made by Vice President Al Gore during a White House ceremony to observe "Equal Pay Day."

Secretary Alexis M. Herman, who noted that "today women still earn 26 percent less, on average, than men," added that "The proposed changes to the Memorandum of Understanding will help ensure that the pay gap between women and men is eliminated."

Under the proposed changes which the two agencies intend to implement by the end of this fiscal year, there would be a sharing of data and cross-training of staff regarding sensitivity to potential violations of the statutes, including the Equal Pay Act, federal child labor laws and anti-discrimination and affirmative provisions of Executive Order 11246.

Also, EEOC and the Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced their commitment to coordinate an arrangement whereby OFCCP would serve as EEOC's agent for purposes of seeking damages that are not otherwise available through OFCCP, including those for intentional discrimination.

Additionally, as part of its technical assistance outreach, OFCCP will publicize Federal contractor best practices tips and guidance on analyzing compensation data on the agency's web site.

"It is imperative that as our nation enters the 21st century, we do so in a spirit of equal pay for women and men. We in the Labor Department are committed to be leaders in this area," Secretary Herman added.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Shirley J. Wilcher, who heads OFCCP, commended Vice President Al Gore and Secretary Alexis M. Herman for the Department's pay initiatives. She added, "Providing more accessible wage information and sharing the best practices tips and should encourage awareness and greater voluntary compliance, especially for the small federal contractor."

OFCCP is part of the Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration. It enforces Executive Order 11246 and other statutes requiring federal contractors to ensure equal employment opportunity in the workplace without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or veteran status.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Agency
Employment Standards Administration
Date
April 2, 1998
Contact: David Roberts
Phone Number