September 30, 2019 is the deadline for mid-size and large employers to submit to the EEOC the amounts paid to employees of different sexes, races, and ethnicities in 2018, says U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan. In addition to accepting the EEOC’s proposal to require employers to submit 2018 pay data, Judge Chutkan, in a bench trial, also ordered the EEOC to collect a second year of data, providing the choice between 2017 or 2019 later down the line. Judge Chutkan accepted the EEOC’s proposed due date despite her doubts as to why such collection would take so long to collect the pay data, noting “The government does not have clean hands in this case.”
The EEOC has until April 29, 2019 to publish a statement on its website informing employers of Judge Chutkan’s recent decision. In addition, the EEOC has until May 3, 2019 to decide whether to identify 2017 or 2019 as the second-year data set. As a further mechanism to ensure the September deadline is met, the EEOC is required to provide the court with a compliance update on May 3, 2019, and updates every subsequent 21 days thereafter until the September 30, 2019 deadline.
Judge Chutkan’s decision marked the end of the debate as to when the deadline to produce this information would be set following her ruling in early March to reinstate the data collection process, originally implemented by the Obama administration, and rolled back by the Trump administration in 2017. However, the National Women’s Law Center and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement challenged its rescission and won on summary judgment last month. It seems the EEOC was not prepared for such a ruling as it stated that it did not have the infrastructure to accept and secure the pay data by September 30, 2019, without hiring a contractor.
Other business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, also claimed to be blindsided by Judge Chutkan’s ruling, stating that employer members have not retained data in a form deliverable to the EEOC and would need 18 months to complete the survey. Judge Chutkan, however, admonished the EEOC for its lack of preparedness or contingency plan in the event of a plaintiff victory, stating that the administration’s actions before and since her March order “indicate that the government is not committed to a prompt collection of Component 2 information.”
What This Means for Your Business
Both demographics and payroll data requirements apply to businesses with 100 or more employees, and to federal contractors with 50 or more employees. If your business qualifies, chances are you will have to move quickly to update your human resources information systems to meet the deadline to provide the required demographic and payroll data.