Trump rolls back 'diversity' regulations
For those who continue to insist that President Barack Obama was not a radical leftist, one look at the regulations his EEOC formulated to deal with "diversity" issues and the gender pay gap would convince them otherwise.
Simply put, the Obama-era EEOC regulations would have saddled American companies with millions of hours of additional paperwork requirements costing untold millions of dollars. Now Donald Trump's OMB is preventing them from being enacted.
The Office of Management and Budget instructed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to shelve a rule change that would have required employers to submit 20 times as much data to the agency as previously required. The Obama administration called for the new standards, which would have affected 61,000 American companies with more than 100 workers and federal contractors with more than 50 workers, to demonstrate his commitment to closing the much-disputed "gender wage gap." Obama's EEOC called for businesses to provide 3,660 different data points about each employee and their pay structure, up from the 188 points.
OMB issued the stay because of its concerns that the new forms would prove "unnecessarily burdensome" on businesses, while not achieving its desired goal of eliminating purposeful discrimination. It also said the EEOC rules could invade the privacy of individual workers without adequate protections in place.
"OMB is concerned that some aspects of the revised collection of information lack practical utility, are unnecessarily burdensome, and do not adequately address privacy and confidentiality issues," Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Neomi Rao said in an Aug. 29 memo.
The agency conducted a review of the rules, but did not provide all of the specifics of its data collection methods during public comment period to get feedback from employers. OMB said the EEOC's omission could have led it to vastly underestimating the costs associated with adding nearly 3,500 new data points to the existing forms. The agency estimated the new regulations would cost employers $53.5 million and take about 1.9 million hours to complete. Those numbers paled in comparison to the findings of a survey conducted by the Chamber of Commerce, which estimated the regulations would cost $400 million and increase work hours by 8 million—if additional overhead is taken into account the rules could cost up to $1.3 billion.
"The public did not receive an opportunity to provide comment on the method of data submission to EEOC. In addition, EEOC's burden estimates did not account for the use of these particular data file specifications, which may have changed the initial burden estimate," the memo said.
The Chamber of Commerce said that the EEOC did not do its due diligence to assess the cost associated with the rule.
The regulations would not have contributed one iota to "diversity" or closed the gender pay gap by one cent. It was simply government meddling at an unprecedented level. It was as if some eager-beaver bureaucrat at the EEOC woke up one day and thought, "What would be the most burdensome, expensive, intrusive, unnecessary set of regulations I could possibly write?" Mission accomplished.
Currently, the EEOC has about 73,000 claims of discrimination backlogged from previous years. How could they possibly have found the time to enforce the new regulations when their agency has such a massive backlog of cases dealing with its primary mission of battling discrimination in the workplace?
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, issued a statement on the rollback:
This agency is supposed to be protecting American workers from discrimination. Instead the EEOC came up with an absurd mandate forcing employers to submit new pay data on 63 million private sector employees," Alexander said in a statement. "The Trump administration has done the right thing today so EEOC can think critically about what data it should require of employers and begin to work through its backlog of more than 73,000 unresolved complaints of discrimination.
Trump's action eliminates a massive increase in the power of government. Along with his other rollbacks of onerous and expensive regulations, some of the damage done to American business during the Obama years is being repaired.