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February 03, 2000
EEOC to Get Funds for President's Equal Pay Initiative
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sident Clinton announced his $27 million Equal Pay Initiative last week as part of his fiscal year 2001 budget request. He urged prompt passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act to further strengthen anti-wage discrimination efforts.

It is interesting that his proposal stresses enforcement rather than new laws. $10 million of this initiative go to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC would be charged with increasing employer compliance of equal pay laws through strategically focused enforcement of and training on wage discrimination issues. The President also called for an expanded information campaign designed to educate employees and employers about rights and responsibilities under the Equal Pay Act.

The Department of Labor would receive the balance of the proposed funding to combat pay inequities.

President's Poster Example -- Sharon Long

Sharon Long, a victim of pay discrimination, introduced the President at the White House announcement event from Baltimore. With the help of EEOC, she waged a four-year battle against her former employer to be paid the same as men for doing the same work. The men doing her same job were being paid more than twice her salary. Calling her stand "heroic," the President pondered aloud: "How many countless people like her. . .didn't stand up and fight like she did?"

"The President's equal pay initiative is the first to support EEOC's enforcement efforts in this regard since jurisdiction of the Equal Pay Act was transferred to EEOC in 1978," said the Labor Secretary, Ms. Castro. The $10 million proposed the President would enable EEOC to:

Provide, for the first time ever, training and technical assistance to employers on how to comply with equal pay requirements;

Develop public service announcements to educate employees and employers on their rights and responsibilities under equal pay laws; and

Train over 1,000 EEOC enforcement staff in identifying and responding to wage discrimination, the first such EEOC training since the agency assumed responsibility for the Equal Pay Act in 1978.

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