Pay data reporting is on the way for employers. This is particularly true as momentum around equal pay continues to build. At the federal level, on September 30, 2019, the EEOC is requiring employers to provide additional employment data on EEO-1 reports, including information on pay and hours worked, broken down into 12 pay bands, across 10 job categories, by racial, ethnic and sex groups. Here are five things you need to know about the new EEO-1 requirements:
1. Who has to report this additional information? Private employers with at least 100 employees and federal contractors with at least 50 employees and contracts of $50,000 or more.
2. Is the information that employers report to the EEOC made public? The EEO-1 guidelines specify that all reports and information from individual reports will be kept confidential as required by §709(e) of Title VII. However, in the context of a lawsuit against a private employer, there is no specific protection that permits employers to avoid producing the information reported on a form EEO-1 to the plaintiff. So, the employer’s EEO-1 form could become a treasure trove to plaintiffs’ attorneys pursuing discrimination and similar claims.
3. What will the EEOC do with the additional information? The EEOC uses information about the number of women and minorities companies employ to support civil rights enforcement and analyze employment patterns, according to the agency. The collection of this additional information sends a strong signal that the EEOC will increase its enforcement efforts in relation to civil rights and pay equity.
4. How is this reporting requirement different from previously existing reporting requirements? The original EEO-1 form sought information across 140 data fields regarding the race, ethnicity and sex of the workforce in 10 job categories. The revised EEO-1 form adds 3360 data fields, requiring employers for the first time to provide aggregated data for the prior year on pay and hours worked, broken down into 12 pay bands across the 10 job categories, by the same racial, ethnic and sex groups.
5. What if an employer becomes aware of pay disparities as a result of the data collected? Companies should investigate and address any disparities. A failure to do so could provide fodder for plaintiffs and regulatory authorities. Work with employment counsel to ensure that your investigation, remedial action and documentation are adequate.