EEOC reporting requirements could change in 2017

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President Barack Obama greets Lilly Ledbetter after she introduces him at a Jan. 29 announcement.
President Barack Obama greets Lilly Ledbetter after she introduces him at a Jan. 29 announcement.

Businesses with 100 or more employees who submit the Employer Information Report (EEO-1 form) would be required to submit summary pay data by gender, race and ethnicity annually beginning in September 2017 under a rule proposed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor.

The rule was published Feb. 1 in the Federal Register. Comments are being accepted until April 1.

As currently proposed, the rule would require employers to submit information on W-2 earnings and hours worked across 10 job categories and by 12 pay bands. The reporting of specific salaries for each individual employee would not be required.  

President Barack Obama announced the proposal Friday afternoon, the seventh anniversary of the signing of his first piece of legislation as president, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. That act amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 so that unfair pay complaints can be filed within 180 days of a discriminatory paycheck — and that 180 days resets after every such paycheck is issued.

“Today, women account for almost half the workforce,” he said at the announcement. “A typical woman who works full time still earns 79 cents for every dollar that the typical man does. The gap is even wider for women of color. The typical black working woman makes only 60 cents. The typical Latina woman makes only 55 cents for every dollar a white man earns. And that's not right. We're talking about, often times, folks are doing the same job and being paid differently. It means that women are not getting the fair shot that we believe every American deserves.”

The proposed rule, which would affect more than 63 million workers, stems from a recommendation of the President's Equal Pay Task Force and a presidential memorandum issued in April 2014. It would expand on and replace an earlier plan by the Department of Labor to collect similar information from federal contractors.

“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,” said EEOC Chairwoman Jenny R. Yang. The commission and the labor department will use the information to “focus investigations, assess complaints of discrimination and identify existing pay disparities that may warrant further examination,” she added. The data also will help employers evaluate their own pay practices, Yang said.

Video of the Jan. 29 announcement:

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