More than 100 members of Congress asked the US Department of Labor to continue its support of the Women’s Bureau, the only bureau dedicated exclusively to women’s issues in employment. The Department of Labor has plans to outsource half of the career positions within the Women’s Bureau, according to a press release from Congresswomen Hilda Solis (D-CA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), replacing staff with contractors.
In a signed letter, the members of Congress asked the Secretary of the Department of Labor, Elaine Chao, not to outsource these positions as “such action would result in a significant loss of institutional knowledge for the Women’s Bureau and would considerably reduce the Bureau’s effectiveness.” The Representatives also asked Secretary Chao to fill important regional positions for the bureau that have been left vacant.
“While women have made enormous strides in the workplace since the Women’s Bureau was established, they continue to face wage gaps, glass ceilings, and discrimination on the jobÉ. Outsourcing half of the career positions in the Women’s Bureau, in addition to their already stretched resources and declining funding, could prove to be the agency’s breaking point,” said Congresswoman Solis.
Last month, a coalition of over 200 women’s organizations, including the Feminist Majority, called on Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao to strengthen the Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau, stressing many of the same concerns as the members of Congress.