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EEOC takes step toward adding pay data to EEO-1 reports

by H. Juanita M. Beecher

On January 29, President Barack Obama announced at a White House ceremony celebrating the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is proposing a new rule to collect pay data through the EEO-1 report. The proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register on February 1.  EEOC-jpg

The proposal calls for revising the current EEO-1 report to collect W-2 compensation and hours-worked data by pay band for employers that have 100 or more employees beginning with the 2017 report. In 2016, all employers will file the currently approved EEO-1 report, and employers with 50 to 99 employees will file the current report after 2016. The pay data is to be grouped in 12 pay bands that are the same pay intervals the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) uses in its Occupational Employment Statistics survey.

The proposed rule recommends adding W-2 and hours-worked data to the information currently reported. The pay data is to be grouped in 12 pay bands that are the same pay intervals the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) uses in its Occupational Employment Statistics survey.

Current EEO-1 data provide the federal government with workforce profiles from private-sector employers by race, ethnicity, sex, and job category. The proposed rule would add aggregate data on pay ranges and hours worked. A statement from the EEOC said the new data will assist it in identifying possible pay discrimination and assist employers in promoting equal pay in their workplaces.

The EEOC is following the model of its EEO-4 report for state and local governments, which collects pay data from those employers in pay bands. Unlike the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) proposed Equal Pay Report, the EEOC’s proposal would allow employers to use the W-2 data it has available when making the EEO-1 report, which is due September 30.

Like the OFCCP’s proposed Equal Pay Report, the EEOC will collect total hours worked by EEO-1 pay band. The EEOC stated that it will not ask employers to collect hours on salaried employees but would like comments on whether 40 hours should be used for all salaried workers.

The proposed rule includes a 60-day comment period, which ends April 1. Because the changes would amend the EEO-1 report, the EEOC will hold a public hearing at a time to be determined.

More information on the proposed rule will be available in the February 2016 issue of Federal Employment Law Insider.

H. Juanita M. Beecher is counsel to Fortney & Scott, LLC in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at nbeecher@fortneyscott.com.