In 1966, the EEOC began requiring companies with 100 or more employees to compile employment data by race/ethnicity, gender, and job category. Dubbed EEO-1 Reports, these surveys were meant to provide a snapshot of how many racial and ethnic minorities and women were working in a company.
EEO-1 Reports Expanded
During President Obama’s tenure, the EEO-1 Report was broadened into two components. Component 1 would include the same information always collected, while Component 2 would include W-2 wage information for employees by race, ethnicity, and sex. Although designed to target pay discrimination, Component 2 was viewed as overly burdensome. Data compilation would take countless hours, while the human error rate was sure to increase on account of the significantly expanded form.
In 2017, before the new EEO-1 regulations could take effect, President Trump suspended all data collection efforts. Litigation followed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
In March 2019, the judge lifted the federal government’s stay and directed the EEOC to again start collecting EEO-1 reports. When the EEOC opened the portal for employers, however, it did not include Component 2. This did not sit well with the federal judge, who subsequently told the government to submit a plan to collect this additional information.
Employers Should Prepare Now for May and September Deadlines
The EEOC has proposed a September 30, 2019 deadline for the pay data. Thus, as it stands now, employers must submit Component 1 of the EEO-1 Report by May 31, 2019, with Component 2 to follow in September.
In practice, however, this deadline may not be a line, but a moving target. It is likely the federal government will appeal, and the EEOC will again revise the reporting guidelines to withstand further judicial scrutiny. Either way, employers should be preparing the necessary data now to avoid issues in the future. Further updates will be provided to stay abreast of developing news on this EEO-1 legal battle.