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To the relief of employers, on Aug. 29, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) informed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that it was immediately staying and reviewing implementation of the pay data collection aspects of the EEO-1 Form.

The EEO-1 Form Requirement

Since the mid-1960s, employers with 100 or more employees have been required to file an annual EEO-1 report with the EEOC providing data on the number of employees and their demographic characteristics (race, ethnicity, and gender). Federal contractors with 50 or more employees are also required to file an annual EEO-1 report.

In September 2016, the EEOC issued a new EEO-1 report that, beginning in March 2018, would have required employers to report on pay data and hours worked of employees along with the other demographic information. The requirement was met with immediate dismay by employers because of the burdensome and intrusive nature of the requirements. Further, many employers believed that the EEOC would not actually be able to use the data collected in a meaningful way to address pay disparity issues --- the stated purpose for the new requirement.

The OMB’s announcement that it is staying implementation of the new requirements relieves employers of the burden of collecting and reporting this data.

Now What?

According to a statement issued by Acting EEOC Chair Victoria Lipnic, the EEOC remains “committed to enforcing federal equal pay laws” and the OMB’s action “will not alter EEOC's enforcement efforts.” This means that employers should continue their focus on auditing pay practices and eliminating pay disparities based on race, ethnicity, or gender.

Practically for employers, the EEOC has stated that the stay means that the “previously approved EEO-1 form which collects data on race, ethnicity and gender by occupational category will remain in effect.” Employers can now plan to submit the long-standing EEO-1 by the previously set filing date of March 31, 2018 based on a workforce snapshot taken between October and December 2017.

To the relief of many employers, this development really means one less reporting headache to deal with…and just in time for the Labor Day weekend!
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