By Cris Naser
On Jan. 29, 2016, in conjunction with the seventh anniversary of passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Act, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced proposed revisions to the EEO-1 report. The proposal is a collaborative effort with DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and would replace OFCCP’s flawed effort to collect compensation information. Comments on the proposal are due by April 1.
Effective in 2017, the proposal would require employers with 100 or more employees to add pay data and hours worked by sex, race and ethnicity in each of the EEO-1 job categories. Although federal contractors with 50 or more employers submit EEO-1 reports, they would not have to report the new pay data so long as they have 99 or fewer employees.
Currently, covered employers provide information regarding the racial, ethnic, and sex makeup of their workforces on the EEO-1, including information regarding job categories. Under the proposal, for each of the EEO-1 job categories, the proposed EEO-1 would have 12 pay bands. (The proposed pay bands mirror the 12 pay bands used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Occupation Employment Statistics survey.) For each job category, employers would tabulate and report the number of employees whose W-2 earnings for the prior 12 months fell within each pay band by their ethnicity, race and sex as well as their hours worked. The agency is requesting comment on how to report hours worked for salaried employees.
The EEOC selected total W-2 earnings as the measure of pay for the new pay data reporting requirement because it believes this measure will maximize the usefulness of the EEO-1 pay data while minimizing the burden on employers to collect and report it. According to the agency, its goal was to identify a measure of compensation that encompasses as much employer-paid income earned by individuals as possible (e.g., W-2 gross income includes wages, salaries, bonuses, overtime pay, shift differentials, fees, commissions, tips, taxable fringe benefits, and elective deferrals).
With this new data, the EEOC plans to compile and publish aggregated data that it contends will help employers in conducting their own analysis of their pay practices to facilitate voluntary compliance. The EEOC reports that agencies will use this pay data to “assess complaints of discrimination, focus agency investigations, and identify existing pay disparities that may warrant further examination.