Employers may be breathing a sigh of relief after the announcement on August 29 that the pay data collection aspect of the EEO-1 form has been suspended.
Employers still are required to submit the previously approved EEO-1 form—which collects data on race, ethnicity, and gender by occupational category—by the end of March 2018.
A statement from Acting EEOC Chair Victoria A. Lipnic on August 29 said the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) informed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of the immediate stay on the pay data collection—Component 2—of the EEO-1 form in accordance with its authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act.
Late in President Barack Obama’s administration, Component 2, which would apply to employers with 100 or more employees, was added to the EEO-1 report in an effort to ensure equal pay and close the wage gap. This March would have been the first time employers were required to submit the new data.
Beecher said the new EEO-1 development means the EEOC will be reviewing the effectiveness of collecting the pay information called for in Component 2. She said even some in the Obama administration questioned whether the Component 2 data would be effective since the form called for data from W-2 forms, which can include things other than pay for hours worked. Also, the data wasn’t going to be exact since there would be 12 different pay bands for each EEO-1 job category.
Suspension of Component 2 gives the EEOC time to get President Donald Trump’s nominees to the EEOC in place before the agency has to complete a review of the new requirement, Beecher said. Currently, Lipnic is the only Republican on the five-member commission, but confirmation of Trump’s nominees will create a Republican majority.
“Even the Obama OMB took a long time to approve it,” Beecher said. “What the Trump OMB has done is say ‘we’re sending this back to look at again.’”
Beecher said Lipnic noted at a recent conference that she had urged the OMB to make a decision on Component 2 before Labor Day since employers would need time to prepare before the March EEO-1 filing deadline.
Lipnic’s statement said the OMB decision won’t alter the EEOC’s enforcement efforts. “The EEOC remains committed to strong enforcement of our federal equal pay laws, a position I have long advocated,” she said.
“Going forward, we at the EEOC will review the order and our options,” Lipnic’s statement continued. “I do hope that this decision will prompt a discussion of other more effective solutions to encourage employers to review their compensation practices to ensure equal pay and close the wage gap. I stand ready to work with Congress, federal agencies, and all stakeholders to achieve that goal.”
Beecher reminds federal contractors that VETS-4212 reporting is still required by the end of September. VETS-4212 is the report contractors are required to make annually on their affirmative action efforts in employing veterans.
In previous years, the EEO-1 and VETS-4212 were both required by the end of September, but with the addition of Component 2 to the EEO-1 report, employers were given until March on the EEO-1 to allow time to make system changes necessary to supply the pay data.