Today the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a public hearing regarding the Agency’s pending proposed revisions to the EEO-1 Report to include a pay reporting component.  As proposed, all employers with 100 or more employees would add information on aggregate pay ranges and hours worked to the EEO-1 report, beginning in 2017.

During the all day hearing the Commission heard from Department of Labor officials as well as three panels, comprised of industry experts, representatives of employer and advocacy groups as well as academics.

After initial remarks by EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang and each of the EEOC Commissioners, the Commission heard from Patricia Shiu, Director of OFFCP and other DOL witnesses on the feedback received in response to OFCCP’s proposed Equal Pay Report and the Agency’s cooperation with EEOC to implement a single pay data collection tool.  OFCCP will not continue to pursue implementation of the agency’s proposed Equal Pay Report and instead will utilize data reported to the EEOC.

Following the agency witnesses, the Commission received feedback from the three rounds of panels. Panel members, previously selected by EEOC,  provided written and oral statements and answered questions from each of the Commissioners.  During the hearing the Commissioners were presented with data, anecdotes, concerns and even a replica of the proposed revised EEO-1 form to demonstrate the increased number of data collection fields created by the EEOC’s proposal.

In acknowledging the persistent wage gap, the statements presented throughout the day centered on the themes of:

  • a need for transparency;
  • a desire to develop a meaningful tool to assist the Department identify indicators of potential pay discrimination for further investigation; and
  • an obligation to minimize the burden on employers

The final panel of the day also engaged in a robust discussion about confidentiality concerns raised by the collection, transmission and making public of the proposed pay information.

It was clear from the statements presented and the questions posed that both the Commission and those asked to present were focused on better understanding the burden of the new reporting obligations on employers and suggestions for increasing the utility of the reports. Jocelyn Frye from the Center for American Progress reminded those in attendance that the government has been working on the development of a pay data collection tool, in various forms, for the past two decades.

In her closing remarks Chair Yang again encouraged public comment on the proposed changes. The initial public comment period is currently scheduled to close on April 1st. Take the time to let your voice be heard.