On Friday, January 29, 2016, seven years to the day following passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a proposed rule that would require employers with 100 or more employees to report pay data as part of annual EEO-1 submissions beginning with the September 2017 report. The proposed regulation would require affected employers to not only report the number of employees in each protected classification (gender, race, etc.) but to further break down those assignments into twelve pay bands used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its occupational statistics survey based on annual W-2 earnings. Affected employers also would be required to report the total number of hours worked by employees in each reported band, in an attempt to allow the EEOC to determine when apparent disparities might be attributed to part time work. A sample of the proposed form can be found here.

The EEOC's intent in promulgating this rule was made clear in the announcement accompanying the rule:

The new pay data would provide EEOC and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) of the Department of Labor with insight into pay disparities across industries and occupations and strengthen federal efforts to combat discrimination. This pay data would allow EEOC to compile and publish aggregated data that will help employers in conducting their own analysis of their pay practices to facilitate voluntary compliance. The agencies would use this pay data to assess complaints of discrimination, focus agency investigations, and identify existing pay disparities that may warrant further examination.

At this point, this is only a proposed rule. The public has until April 1, 2016, to comment on its requirements, which may result in changes prior to the rule going into effect. In particular, the EEOC is seeking  public input regarding how employers can report hours worked for salaried employees, and the estimated hours it would take for them to comply with this new reporting requirement. We will monitor this proposed regulation and issue additional guidance as its requirements become clear.