WASHINGTON – Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to the Obama Administration’s announcement of two initiatives to advance paid sick leave and equal pay. The announcements today, that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will, for the first time, collect summary pay data, broken down by gender, race, and ethnicity, from all businesses with 100 or more employees, and the final rule requiring federal contractors to provide up to seven paid sick days per year to employees, mark one of the most sweeping executive branch actions to improve workplaces in recent memory:
“Today, the administration is showing true leadership for working people.
Expanding paid sick leave is crucial to low-income families, who are often unable to sacrifice a day’s wage when ill. Paid sick leave is also vital for working women, especially women of color, who are more likely to work in jobs that do not offer paid sick leave and are more likely to need time off to care for a sick child. In addition to benefiting working families, a growing body of research has shown that offering paid sick days benefits employers by reducing turnover and increasing productivity.
And the historic announcement that the EEOC will collect pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity will provide desperately needed transparency to the opaque and unequal pay discrimination that’s rampant in the American workplace. We know about the massive gender and race wage gaps in this country, and collecting data from employers is a concrete step toward correcting this injustice.
We applaud the administration for today’s actions, which will help all working people have greater access to the middle class.”
Nancy Zirkin is executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference, visit www.civilrights.org.