EEOC SEEKS EQUAL PAY DATA FROM EMPLOYERS

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the Obama Administration announced that it sought approval of a revised Employer Information Report (EEO-1) that would require federal contractors and employers with 100 or more employees to disclose pay information of its workers.  Currently, an EEO-1 report is filed annually by employers and includes information concerning workers’ race, ethnicity, gender and job category.  The EEOC now seeks to expand the scope of what is required to be reported on the EEO-1 form by requiring pay data, such as W-2 earnings and hours worked, to be disclosed.  EEOC Chair, Jenny R. Yang, stated that the addition of pay information to these mandatory reporting categories would allow the EEOC to “focus agency investigations, assess complaints of discrimination, and identify existing pay disparities that may warrant further examination.”  The initiative stems from the administration’s increased efforts to combat pay discrimination based on protected classifications.

Business groups have expressed concern that by releasing its compensation data, without referencing variables that affect workers’ pay, such as job titles, education, seniority and experience, they will have to spend significant time and resources explaining the non-discriminatory bases for employee pay rates.  Employers are also worried that confidential wage data will be accessible to competitors, despite the EEOC’s assurances to the contrary.

The public has until April 1, 2016 to comment on the proposed change.

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