EEOC Proposal Seeks to Combat Discrimination Through the Tracking of Payroll Data

Miller & Martin PLLC Alerts | February 02, 2016

by Megan Welton

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced a proposed revision to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) that includes collecting pay data from employers, including federal contractors, with more than 100 employees. Currently, the government tracks workforce profiles of private-sector employers by race, ethnicity, sex, and job category. Beginning in September 2017, the proposed revision will include a second component that will ask employers to disclose W-2 compensation and hours-worked data.

To protect worker privacy, the proposal does not require the reporting of specific salaries of individual employees. Instead, employers would disclose group pay data across 10 job categories and 12 pay bands. With respect to reporting hours worked for salaried employees, the EEOC is seeking employer input on different approaches. The EEOC is not, however, proposing to require employers to begin collecting additional data on actual hours worked for salaried workers to the extent that they do not currently maintain such information.

By collecting data on pay ranges and hours worked, the EEOC and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) of the Department of Labor are seeking to combat pay discrimination by discerning pay disparities across industries and occupations. The EEOC will use the data to assess complaints of discrimination, focus agency investigations, and identify pay disparities that may warrant further examination. The aggregated pay data also will be published, in a manner that does not reveal any particular employer's data, to help employers in conducting their own analysis of their pay practices to facilitate compliance efforts.

The EEOC will be collecting comments on this proposal until April 1, 2016. Comments may be submitted online here - which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Comments received online will be posted publicly on the same portal without change, including any personal information you provide.

We will keep you updated if this change to your EEO-1 reporting obligations goes into effect. As always, should you have questions about this proposal or need assistance preparing a comment on it, please feel free to contact Megan Welton, Karen Smith, or any other member of our Labor & Employment Law Practice Group.