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Federal regulators are watching, and companies are nervous

The corporate world is about to get a lot more transparent about how it compensates employees. New regulations require all employers with 100 or more employees to disclose very detailed information about how it pays its employees — information that will identify whether or not employers are discriminating based on race or gender.

The information is due by the end of September. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says that the measures are necessary to put an end to the “wage gaps” that have long plagued the corporate world.

To be fair, the affected companies have had plenty of warning to get on board with “equal pay for equal work.” The new rules were issued back in 2016. They’re designed to make the investigation process into complaints filed with the EEOC quicker and more efficient. With such information on hand, the EEOC will be able to more easily determine which discrimination complaints are likely to be more valid than others.

About 70,000 companies are going to fall subject to the new rules. The delay in onset for their reporting obligation came due to the current presidential administration’s 2017 opposition to the requirement, saying that it would prove too big of a burden on the companies involved. However, a federal judge ordered the rule reinstated.

This sort of rule won’t just affect how employees are paid — it’s also likely to affect who runs companies. The increased transparency means that more companies will have a stronger incentive to move women and minorities into positions of authority and upper-management levels.

Despite these measures, don’t expect workplace discrimination to utterly vanish. There will be progress, to be sure. But there will also be companies who insist on behaving as if the 1950s never passed. If you believe you’ve been enduring workplace discrimination, find out what sort of legal action you can take.

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