Law & Courts Opinion

White House and EEOC Makes Changes to Promote Equal Pay

By Emily Douglas-McNab — February 15, 2016 3 min read
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On January 29, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a press release detailing information on the proposed revision to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1). Details on the changes were listed in the Federal Register on Monday, February 1.

EEO Report Types
Prior to reading about the proposed changes, it is important to note that there are actually four different types of EEO reports--EEO-1, EEO-2, EEO-4, and EEO-5. EEO-1 reports are filed by private employers who are subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1962 with 100 or more employees. Yet, state and local governments, schools, institutes of higher education, tribes, and tax-exempt organizations are excluded. Additionally, all federal contractors who meet specific requirements are also required to file. For specific EEO-1 filing details, anyone can view the EEOC’s website specifically on EEO-1’s.

Schools districts file EEO-5 reports every other year. According to the EEOC, the EEO-5 report, “formally known as the Elementary-Secondary Staff Information Report, is a joint requirement of the EEOC and the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education. It is conducted biennially, in the even numbered years, and covers all public elementary and secondary school districts with 100 or more employees in the United States.”

For those interested in the types of EEO reports, surveys, and filing time periods, you can visit the EEOC’s website.

Thus, while this change to EEO-1 reports does not directly impact school districts, organizations providing services to districts could be affected. Further, if these changes are being made to EEO-1 reporting requirements, it could be speculated that the other EEO type reporting requirements (for other types of organizations) could be altered in the future. Additionally, it is never a bad idea for HR and Talent professionals to stay up to date with important legislative changes nationally.

Proposed EEO-1 Changes
Currently, EEO-1 filings include employee profiles, such as data on race, ethnicity, sex, and job category. The revision would require all EEO-1 filing organizations to provide Component 1 data which is the information currently collected, as well as Component 2 data, which would include employee W-2 information and hours worked. Proposed changes for EEO-1 documents (to include both Components) would take effect starting in 2017. The purpose of this collection is so the EEOC can better identify pay discrimination as well as “assist employers in promoting equal pay in their workplaces.” The EEOC press release notes that these changes come in conjunction with the seventh anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang was quoted in the press release that “Collecting pay data is a significant step forward in addressing discriminatory pay practices. This information will assist employers in evaluating their pay practices to prevent pay discrimination and strengthen enforcement of our federal anti-discrimination laws.”

At this time, individuals have an opportunity to provide official written comments on this notice, which must be submitted on or before April 1, 2016 to www.regulations.gov. Please remember than any time you file an official written comment, you are filing a document into an official docket and that personal information included in your comment text and/or uploaded attachment(s) may be publicly viewable on the internet.

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