The Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) announced on August 29, 2017, that the pending deadline for covered employers to submit pay data to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has been suspended indefinitely. Employers had been facing a deadline of March 31, 2018, to submit this additional pay information. In its memo to the EEOC, OMB stated that it would be “initiating a review and immediate stay of the effectiveness of [the pay data collection] aspects of the EEO-1 form.”
Employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees are required to file annual EEO-1 reports with the EEOC, which include information on race, gender, and ethnicity by occupational category within its workforces. Under the new rule that the EEOC finalized on September 29, 2016, covered employers would have had to include in these reports information on compensation and hours worked, also based on race, gender and ethnicity. This would have facilitated the EEOC’s investigation of employers’ compensation practices. However, OMB viewed these additional reporting requirements as lacking practical utility, and as unreasonably burdensome and deficient due to the EEOC's failure to address privacy and confidentiality issues.
The EEOC’s previously approved EEO-1 form to collect data on race, ethnicity and gender will remain in effect during the review and the stay. According to a statement on the EEOC’s website, “[e]mployers should plan to comply with the earlier approved EEO-1 (Component 1) by the previously set filing date of March 2018.”
This development is certainly a victory for the employer community. However, the EEOC’s Acting Chair, Victoria Lipnic, has stated that it will continue to pursue “strong enforcement of our federal equal pay laws.”
The EEOC has been instructed to publish a notice of this immediate stay of the effectiveness of the wages and hours worked reporting requirements in the Federal Register. We anticipate that the EEOC also will be publishing information about any future actions regarding the EEO-1 report in the Federal Register.