Although wage discrimination has been prohibited since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), many workers would refute the idea that it doesn’t exist. The EEOC appears to be tackling that issue this year as part of its updated Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for 2017-2021, released in late 2016. Although the agency reaffirmed the six priorities it outlined in earlier SEPs, it indicated it would put special effort into several areas, one of which is pay discrimination.

“As the Commission reinforces its efforts to address pay discrimination based on sex, this SEP also includes combatting pay discrimination that persists based on race, ethnicity, age, and for individuals with disabilities,” the SEP document stated.

This emphasis is already showing up in recent court actions, including one against technology firm Oracle. On January 17, 2017, the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”)  filed suit against Oracle, alleging discrimination in compensation and hiring practices. The suit also included “failure to produce requested records and data” as part of the complaint, as the suit stems from a compliance review dating back to 2011.

Wage discrimination is a hot topic right now. We will follow this evolving situation closely and report back in this blog.