The Corner

Economy & Business

More Government Data Collection Is Another Knock on Workplace Flexibility

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) just announced that, as of March 2018, some employers will be required to provide additional data on compensation, in an effort to help them identify pay discrimination and close the wage gap. 

It sounds harmless enough – just another few lines in already laborious reporting requirements for companies.  Yet this is more than just a little extra red tape (and it’s actually quite a bit of extra red tape, as IWF’s Charlotte Hays explains).

The EEOC may sincerely hope that employers will react to this new requirement by ending discriminatory pay practices, but most employers already aren’t discriminating against their employees based on sex or race, and the pay differentials that exist do so for a business reason.  The threat of additional EEOC scrutiny, however, means they will have a new incentive to standardize their compensation practice to stamp out these legitimate differences in pay between employees.

It’s not just that employers may stop rewarding employees for greater productivity, longer work hours, additional duties, or years of experience.  They also may also stop offering some workplace flexibility.  Women–particularly working mothers who tend to place a high value on flexibility and are often willing to trade higher pay for a flexible schedule—sometimes intentionally negotiate a lower salary with the understanding that they would have the ability to work from home, won’t have to travel, or could adjust work schedules to match their children’s school calendar.  They may know that their compensation package is a win-win for employer and worker, but the human resource manager and legal team will now have to worry about whether the EEOC will also be able to see that from the bare numbers on a form. The natural decision for businesses that want to avoid legal hassles will be to ax nontraditional work arrangements in favor of a one-size-fits-all policy. 

The best protection for workers isn’t more bureaucratic oversight, but a growing economy.  This move by the EEOC is bad for the economy, and ultimately bad for women.

 

 

Carrie Lukas is the president of the Independent Women’s Forum.

Most Popular

White House

Out of Order

A  question in the spirit of Donald Trump’s tweets this morning might be: Who’s trying harder to crash U.S. markets, the president of the United States or the president of China? After Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell didn’t forecast the loosening of monetary policy that Trump craves and China ... Read More
Film & TV

Netflix Debuts Its Obama Manifesto

This week’s widespread media blitz heralding Netflix’s broadcast of its first Obama-endorsed presentation, American Factory, was more than synchronicity. It felt as though U.S. publicists and journalists collectively exhaled their relief at finally regaining the bully pulpit. Reviews of American Factory, a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Capital versus Tucker Carlson

Advertisers do not advertise on Tucker Carlson’s show to endorse the views of Tucker Carlson. They advertise on his show for the same reason they advertise elsewhere: a captive audience — in Tucker’s case, the second-largest one in cable news — might spare thirty seconds of attention that will, they hope, ... Read More
Natural Law

Are Your Sexual Preferences Transphobic?

Last year, a study exploring “transgender exclusion from the world of dating” was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Of nearly 1,000 participants, the overwhelming majority, 87.5 percent, irrespective of their sexual preference, said they would not consider dating a trans person, ... Read More
Culture

R.I.P. David Koch

Making the click-through worthwhile: breaking news that David Koch, a giant of philanthropy and the libertarian movement, has died; a couple of politicians who warn us about climate-change-driven rising oceans and worsening hurricanes pay millions for oceanfront property; an insane decision surrounding a morning ... Read More