EEOC Introduces Proposed Changes to EEO-1 Reporting That Could Reveal Pay Discrimination

Employers, including federal contractors, with 100 or more employees are required to file employer information reports, called an EEO-1 with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). The data collected currently includes data on race, ethnicity, and gender.

However, under a revised proposal by the EEOC issued on July 14, 2016, as of March 31, 2018, companies will also need to include data on pay ranges and hours worked. This information must be reported by job category and broken down across 12 pay bands. Employers are to gather wage information from W-2 reports from the prior year, and include not only base salaries but also bonuses, incentive compensation payouts, and payments for paid time off. For non-exempt employees, calculation of hours worked will reflect only hours actually worked and not paid time off. Additionally, for exempt employees, employers can chose to either report actual hours worked if that is traced or report 40 hours per workweek for full-time employees and 20 hours per workweek for part-time employees.

Although the first reporting deadline is not until 2018, the reported information will include 2017 wage information. The EEOC plans to use this information to identify pay discrimination. Therefore, companies need to identify whether there are pay gaps between protected classes that the EEOC might consider suspicious. Companies with pay gaps will need to analyze whether these are caused by legitimate, non-discriminatory, job-related factors such as location, education, or experience. If employers cannot justify wage differences, they will need to consider how to fix the pay gap. Otherwise, there is a real possibility that they will face a pay discrimination suit.

A sample of the proposed EEO-1 Form to collect pay data can be found here and a Q&A from the EEOC regarding the proposed changes can be found here.