MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has joined a multi-state coalition in support of a lawsuit fighting for pay discrimination, it announced Monday.

The coalition, headed by California, supports protecting demographic information “critical to ensuring equal pay,” the department said.

The lawsuit came about after a 2017 federal reversal of a program requiring mid- to large- size private employers to provide pay data. The department said that information would help government investigators and prosecutors tackle pay discrimination.

The department said in 2016, women in Minnesota earned about 83% of what men earned. Black and Native women earned about 59% of what white men earned, and Latinas earned about 54% compared to their white male counterparts.