Legal

EEOC Propose Significant Pay Equality Changes to EEO-1

By Jon Hyman

Feb. 1, 2016

If your company has 100 or more employees, you should be familiar with the federal government’s EEO-1 survey. The EEOC requires that you annually complete and file this form, which requests demographic on your employees, broken down by protected classes and job categories.



On Jan. 29, the White House made a game changing announcement about the information it proposes you submit in your EEO-1 filings.

The new rule would require the annual submission to the EEOC of pay data by gender, race and ethnicity.

According to EEOC Chair Jenny Yang:

Collecting this pay data will help fill a critical void in the information we need to ensure that American workers are not shortchanged for their hard work. The pay data will provide EEOC and OFCCP with insight into pay disparities across industries and occupations. Our agencies will use this data to more effectively focus investigations, assess complaints of discrimination, and identify existing pay disparities that may warrant further examination. 

This data will also help employers evaluate their own pay practices so that they can prevent pay discrimination in their workplaces. EEOC will publish aggregate data that will help employers determine if they are paying employees fairly, and if their pay is in line with regional and industry practices. The proposed data collection will protect the privacy interests of both employers and employees. Employers will not report individual salary information about specific employees. Rather, they will report only the total number of employees by job category and demographic group who fall within 12 pay bands.

President Obama started his administration in 2009 by addressing pay inequality, by signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Now, he appears to be refocusing on this issue to close out his tenure.

Moreover, according to Commissioner Yang, the EEOC is focusing on pay inequality as one of its top enforcement priorities, which means you should be focusing on it in your workplace as well.

Jon Hyman is a partner in the Employment & Labor practice at Wickens Herzer Panza. Contact Hyman at JHyman@Wickenslaw.com.

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