If you heard the Trump Administration Department of Labor was using legal theories developed under Barack Obama to sue some of the nation’s most successful companies, you’d probably presume it was some kind of “fake news.”
You’d be wrong. And what’s even more remarkable is that it appears to be going on without the approval of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia who, his admirers believe, has one of the sharpest minds in Trump’s Cabinet.
A little-known agency inside the department called the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) was created to promote affirmative action in federal contracting. Left-wing, anti-business progressives took it over under Obama and transformed it into a place that uses data collected from contractors to look for discrimination in hiring and promotion rather than complaints filed by employees.
This, say some who follow the agency’s actions closely represents a significant departure from past practices. Discrimination suits are being brought using data mined from government contractors on hiring and promotions, using statistical anomalies to manufacture discrimination claims.
This approach, which critics describe as unreliable, is nonetheless being used by the Trump administration to taint companies with bogus allegations, usually hinging on the idea a “pay gap” exists between women and men or between different racial categories. Romina Boccia of The Heritage Foundation wrote about this in 2017 saying, “The Department of Labor has sued several tech companies, including giants like Google and Oracle, for alleged gender discrimination in pay. Pay disparities reflect a wide number of variables that aren’t easily captured in overly simplistic government statistics.”
Boccia cites the fact “current research has limitations in what factors are included,” because it doesn’t include data on women’s “strong preference for in-kind benefits over cash wages” and “immeasurable components of compensation—such as flexible work schedules—likely account for the remaining gap.” The use of statistics alone without taking other mitigating factors into account is public policy malpractice that ignores the realities of the world and the workplace.
The United States Chamber of Commerce has targeted the agency as particularly hostile to businesses. In a 2017 report, it exposed OFCCP tactics like demanding employers “provide enormous amounts of data in a short time frame, rather than working with the employer to narrow the request to focus on data relating to a specific issue.” And it’s been found to have unilaterally set “dates and times for on-site investigations without an invitation to discuss legal issues or trying to work with the employer’s schedule.”
This may sound benign but these tactics amount to the bullying of business to settle unfair suits quickly rather than fight and potentially commit so-called process crimes while doing so.
The goal of the lawsuits brought by OFCCP has been to establish new legal precedent allowing for statistics alone to be the basis of a case of employment discrimination. Evidence of a hostile comment by an employer, email exchanges between hiring authorities evidencing discriminatory intent, and other direct evidence need not be provided.
This is a dangerous precedent, something a sharp and experienced attorney like Secretary Scalia would recognize immediately. It is inconsistent with the American legal doctrine that a person, or in this case a company, need not affirmatively prove they have done nothing wrong. Due process counts, as does the presumption of innocence. Liberal activists want to use case law to rewrite the statutes to shift the burden of proof to the employer based on a mere allegation. They should not be allowed to get away with this.
We already know how damaging an accusation can be, especially when it concerns issues related to racial or gender bias. Companies should not have to prove they are not guilty. The government should have to prove they are, using something more than a statistical model that paints a distorted picture of a company’s hiring or promotion policies. This sloppy legal practice should be put to an end immediately, and Secretary Scalia should make it a priority to see that this occurs.
By Brent Scher • Washington Free Beacon
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) failed to acknowledge Equal Pay Day for the first time in her Senate career after it was reported on Tuesday that women working in her Senate office earned just 71 percent of what was earned by men.
Warren has used Equal Pay Day, which fell on April 4 this year, in years past as an opportunity to speak out on the gender pay gap. Last year she took to the Senate floor to call Equal Pay Day a “national day of embarrassment” and pledged to continue her “fight” until the pay gap was erased. She gave similar statements on Equal Pay Day in 2015, 2014, and 2013, her first year in the Senate.
This year, Warren was the only female Democratic senator who ignored Equal Pay Day entirely, and it was not due to a lack of opportunity.
She delivered a nearly 10 minute speech Tuesday afternoon and made no mention of equal pay. The topic of speeches during the session was the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, but that didn’t stop fellow Democratic Senators Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Tammy Duckworth (Ill.), or Kamala Harris (Calif.) from acknowledging Equal Pay Day.
Warren didn’t even bother to send out a tweet recognizing Equal Pay Day—setting her apart from the other 15 Democratic women in the Senate.
California has enacted the country’s most progressive fair pay law. Congress must follow our lead. #EqualPayDay
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) April 4, 2017
While more education can help increase women’s earnings, it still doesn’t close the gender pay gap. #EqualPayDay
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) April 4, 2017
In North Dakota, women earn 71 cents for every dollar paid to men – 71 CENTS. In 2017. #EqualPayDay pic.twitter.com/QYzrr3Opds
— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (@SenatorHeitkamp) April 4, 2017
Today is about highlighting the importance of paycheck fairness for women, for families, and for our economy. #EqualPayDay pic.twitter.com/xjAW81GWqx
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) April 4, 2017
It’s #EqualPayDay & we’re live on the Senate floor on @GorsuchFacts’ record against women & working families https://t.co/CR7OfAVZdv
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) April 4, 2017
Every single day, women across the US contribute so much to the success of their families, their communities and their country #EqualPayDay
— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) April 4, 2017
For #EqualPayDay, remember that pay gap is about income today & tomorrow. Leads to shortfall in retirement – avg of thousands less per year.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) April 4, 2017
If the pay disparity continues on same path, the #wagegap won’t close until 2059. This is unacceptable. Women are entitled to #EqualPay. pic.twitter.com/uGKfAjFbWK
— Senator Cortez Masto (@SenCortezMasto) April 4, 2017
#EqualPayDay is a reminder to keep fighting for equality & make equal pay a reality. Pay discrimination hurts NH women & their families
— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (@SenatorShaheen) April 4, 2017
Women have a right to earn an equal paycheck. That’s why I’m cosponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act #EqualPayDay https://t.co/eubqC2hl2d
— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) April 4, 2017
It’s vital that hard work for a good job be rewarded regardless of what you look like, where you live, or what gender you are #EqualPayDay
— Sen. Maria Cantwell (@SenatorCantwell) April 4, 2017
Across America, hardworking women and their families deserve action on equal pay for equal work. #EqualPayDay pic.twitter.com/P8DF3uIy1q
— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) April 4, 2017
On #EqualPayDay, Claire calls on @GOP (yet again) to finally pass the #PaycheckFairnessAct. Missouri women deserve a level playing field. pic.twitter.com/V0TDlx12Mu
— McCaskill Office (@McCaskillOffice) April 4, 2017
Put simply, women and men deserve equal pay for equal work. A shame that, in 2017, we’re still not there. #EqualPayDay
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) April 4, 2017
On #EqualPayDay women finally catch up to what men earned last year doing the same job. Women deserve equal pay for equal work!
— Sen. Debbie Stabenow (@SenStabenow) April 4, 2017
It wasn’t just a woman thing—Equal Pay Day was recognized by senior congressional Democrats and party leaders as well.
#EqualPayDay is a reminder that there are hugely consequential, tangible barriers that women face every single day that men do not.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 4, 2017
The Pay Gap is an affront to women’s contributions to our communities. #EqualPayDay
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) April 4, 2017
Women are making 81% of what men make and for women of color it’s even less. That’s nothing but sexism and discrimination. #EqualPayDay
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 4, 2017
It is unacceptable that a woman in Virginia will lose $482,000 on average over a 40-year career compared to a man #EqualPayDay
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) April 4, 2017
It’s simple. Women deserve to be paid equally for equal work. #EqualPayDay
— Sen. Al Franken (@SenFranken) April 4, 2017
Check out what @LeanInOrg is doing to celebrate #EqualPayDay.#20PercentCountshttps://t.co/Q2ovXDWNkG
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 4, 2017
On #EqualPayDay, we must remember that inequality for women means inequality for everyone. We won’t stop fighting to close the wage gap.
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) April 4, 2017
It’s #EqualPayDay. Why are women still fighting for wage fairness? Here’s why: pic.twitter.com/P7QeE9REcw
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) April 4, 2017
Even Ivanka Trump chimed in to voice her belief that “women deserve equal pay for equal work.”
#EqualPayDay is a reminder that women deserve equal pay for equal work. We must work to close the gender pay gap! https://t.co/CcwsoBXWdF
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) April 4, 2017
Warren’s office did not respond to an inquiry into whether it planned to recognize Equal Pay Day before it was reported that the median male salary in her office was over $20,000 greater than the median female salary. The five top earners in Warren’s office were all men.
Warren has yet to comment on the pay gap in her office.
by Kate Bachelder • Wall Street Journal
A hallmark of progressive politics is the ability to hold fervent beliefs, in defiance of evidence, that explain how the world works—and why liberal solutions must be adopted. Such political superstitions take on a new prominence during campaign seasons as Democratic candidates trot out applause lines to rally their progressive base and as the electorate considers their voting records. Here’s a Top 10 list of liberal superstitions on prominent display during the midterm election campaign:
1. Spending more money improves education. The U.S. spent $12,608 per student in 2010—more than double the figure, in inflation-adjusted dollars, spent in 1970—and spending on public elementary and secondary schools has surpassed $600 billion. How’s that working out? Adjusted state SAT scores have declined on average 3% since the 1970s, as the Cato Institute’s Andrew Coulson found in a March report.
No better news in the international rankings: The Program for International Student Assessment reports that in 2012 American 15-year-olds placed in the middle of the pack, alongside peers from Slovakia—which shells out half as much money as the U.S. per student.
Someone might mention this to North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, who is knocking State House Speaker Thom Tillis for cutting $500 million from schools. Per-pupil K-12 spending has increased every year since Mr. Tillis became speaker in 2011, and most of what Ms. Hagan is selling as “cuts” came from community colleges and universities, not the local middle school. Mr. Coulson’s Cato study notes that North Carolina has about doubled per-pupil education spending since 1972, which has done precisely nothing for the state’s adjusted SAT scores. Continue reading
While the White House has argued that the wage gap between men and women in the White House is better than the national average, it is far worst than the average in the District of Columbia.
The pay gap among women in the White House is more than twice as large as the average in the nation’s capital. Continue reading
Amid much fanfare, President Obama on Tuesday signs two executive orders designed to begin to narrow the wage gap between men and women. Never mind that the criteria generally used to measure such things are faulty and that the Obama administration doesn’t practice what it deceptively preaches. Continue reading
Once education, marital status and occupations are considered, the ‘gender wage gap’ all but disappears.
April 8 is “Equal Pay Day,” an annual event to raise awareness regarding the so-called gender wage gap. As President Obama said in the State of the Union address, women “still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns,” a claim echoed by the National Committee on Pay Equity, the American Association of University Women and other progressive groups. Continue reading
President Barack Obama is planning to sign two new executive actions aimed at narrowing the wage gap between men and women Tuesday, even as the Obama White House pays its female staffers less than men.
The first executive action will be an order banning federal contractors from retaliation against employees who disclose or ask about their wages, according to reports. His other executive action will require federal contractors to submit data to the government about their employees compensation by sex and race. Continue reading
Women make only 77 cents per each dollar made by males. Outrageous! Sex discrimination!
So say advocates of government-enforced “equality.”
But they are wrong. Women today are rarely victims of salary discrimination.
If they were, market competition would punish bosses who discriminate. A company that hired women who were “underpaid” by other companies would have a cost advantage, allowing them to lower prices, and they’d quickly take business away from the “sexist” competition. Since those female workers provide the same value for less, entrepreneurs who hired only women would get rich! Continue reading