Employer Pay Data Reporting: EEOC Chair Discusses Next Steps

What’s next for employers, now that the Trump administration has pulled back a requirement for certain businesses to report pay data to the government?

“The first order of business is to ensure that the regulated community knows what their compliance obligations are,” Victoria A. Lipnic (R), acting chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, told Bloomberg BNA Aug. 30.

The White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs announced Aug. 29 that it would stay and review an Obama-era pay data collection component of the EEO-1 Report, which many employers are required to file annually with the EEOC. Covered employers, however, still must report workforce data by sex, race, and ethnicity across 10 occupational categories by March 31, 2018.

The EEOC will publish “as soon as possible” a Federal Register notice that will discuss employers’ reporting obligations under existing EEO-1 requirements, as well as technical assistance documents, Lipnic said.

In a memorandum to the commission, OIRA directed the agency to submit a “new information collection package for the EEO-1 form” for review by the Office of Management and Budget. The old pay data proposal would have required private employers with 100 or more employees, including certain government contractors, to report data on wages and hours worked categorized by sex, race, and ethnicity.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups praised OIRA’s decision to halt the pay data collection. They have argued that it would be overly burdensome for employers and that the data would have no practical utility in uncovering pay disparities. Worker advocates, however, condemned the move as harmful to equal pay efforts. They have said the data are needed to help combat lingering pay gaps based on sex and race.

The EEOC will review its options on whether to move forward with some form of pay data collection, Lipnic said. The commission will eventually welcome two new Republican commissioners, pending Senate confirmation, one of whom is slated to be the next chair.

“The commission will look at what transpired here and decide what to do going forward,” she said. “This is a real opportunity to look at, in a holistic fashion, the reasons for the wage gap and the role everyone plays, from enforcement agencies to private employers to advocacy groups, to reach meaningful policy solutions to address it.”

Read more of this Bloomberg BNA article by Jay-Anne B. Casuga by clicking here.