Last week, the Office of Management and Budget in the White House informed the EEOC that it was delaying implementation of a rule the EEOC finalized last year, which would require significant additional information be included in annual EEO-1 reports. The EEOC’s new rule required employers to provide information on W-2 wage data and hours worked for employees within 12 specified pay bands. The first EEO-1 reports with such data were set to be due March 31, 2018. Since the announcement of the new rule, critics have argued, for example, that providing the additional pay data would be overly costly, would increase administrative burdens, and would not yield the type of information necessary to effectively addressing pay inequity. With the OMB stepping in now to re-evaluate cost burdens of the new rule, along with issues involving the utility of the information and confidentiality, employers are getting a major reprieve … though it could be temporary.
For now, remember one very important item—EEO-1 reports are still required for all employers with more than 100 employees (or those who are federal contractors with 50 or more employees)! The information that such employers have long been required to report—demographic data on race, gender, and ethnicity by job category—is still required and due by March 31, 2018.
Though the new EE0-1 reporting requirements are on hold indefinitely, acting EEOC Chair Victoria Lipnic said that the OMB’s decision will not lessen the EEOC’s commitment to fighting wage inequity. However, she has been personally opposed to the new requirements and instead seems to believe that a more holistic approach is needed to address the wage gap. Stay tuned for more on that.
Looking ahead, we expect the OMB’s review to result in the rule either getting dropped completely or at least being modified to lessen the burden on employers.