EEOC Proposes Requiring Employers to Report Employee Pay Data

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has given notice of a proposal that would require certain employers to report employee pay information as part of the required Employer Information Report (EEO-1) starting in 2017. The EEO-1 is an annual report that requires most federal contractors (with 50 or more employees) and private employers (with 100 or more employees) to tally and report their employee numbers for one pay period by job category and by sex, race, and ethnicity. Currently, the EEO-1 does not require employers to report pay data or hours worked by each employee group.

The EEOC’s proposal is to revise federal form EEO-1 to include for each of the EEO-1 job categories 12 specified pay bands. For each pay band, employers would be required to report number of employees whose W-2 earnings fell within in that pay band for the last 12 month period, by their ethnicity, race, and sex. Employers would also report the total number of hours worked by employees counted in that pay band. For example, an employer would report on the EEO-1 that it employs 10 African American men who are Craft Workers in the second pay band ($19,240-$24,439) and the total hours worked by this group is 10,000 hours.

An example of the proposed EEO-1 form is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/2016_new_survey.cfm.

Under the EEOC’s proposal, the following reporting thresholds would be established:

  • Employers, including federal contractors, with 100 or more employees would submit data about pay;
  • Federal contractors with 50-99 employees would not report pay data but would continue to report ethnicity, race, and sex by job category;
  • Consistent with current practice, non-contractor employers with 1-99 employees and federal contractors with 1-49 employees would not be required to file the EEO-1 report.

Covered employers would begin reporting pay data as of the September 30, 2017 EEO-1 filing deadline.

The proposed EEO-1 pay data collection is intended to improve enforcement of federal pay discrimination laws and support employers’ voluntary compliance with those laws. The EEOC explains that too often pay discrimination goes undetected because of a lack of accurate information about what people are paid across industries and job categories. Employees themselves may not know if they are being paid less and may face retaliation for inquiring about wages. In addition, significant unexplained earnings gaps continue to exist between gender, racial, and ethnic groups. The pay data could be used to more effectively focus agency investigations, assess complaints of discrimination, and identify employers with existing pay disparities that warrant further examination. The EEOC would also publish aggregate pay data to help employers evaluate their own pay practices.

The EEOC is seeking public comments regarding the proposed pay data collection requirement until April 1, 2016. Comments and attachments may be submitted online at http://www.regulations.gov. The EEOC’s Notice and comment request is available here.

 

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