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New Form EEO-1

New Form EEO-1? Not So Fast!

In February 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) modified the Form EEO-1 reporting requirements. The EEOC later revised the form itself on September 29, 2016. The new rules would require private employers with 100+ employees to include wage and hours data on the new Form EEO-1 beginning March 31, 2018.

However, on August 29, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) informed the EEOC that it was suspending the new pay data collection requirements pending further review.

Existing Form EEO-1 Obligations

Private employers with 100+ employees must annually report employee data on race, ethnicity, and gender by occupational category.

In addition, many federal contractors with less than 100 but more than 50 employees also must file these EEO-1 reports.

Covered employers must file by March 31 for the preceding calendar year.

A sample of the current Form EEO-1 is available here.

Objections to the New Form EEO-1

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has led the opposition to the pay data components of the new Form EEO-1. It sent an extensive comment letter to the Director of the OMB on February 27, 2017. Notably, the letter specifically requested suspension and review of the 2016 changes.

The Chamber’s letter emphasized various potential deficiencies in the 2016 rulemaking.

Highlights of the letter include:

“EEOC failed to identify any significant or tangible benefit the revised EEO-1 report would generate, thereby failing the requirement that it maximize the benefit to be derived from the report.”

“EEOC ignored the significant privacy and confidentiality concerns raised in the review process . . . . The EEOC is proposing to collect highly sensitive personal data regarding compensation at thousands of U.S. companies in a format which will not serve any of its statutory purposes but which will certainly be of great use to any hacker who is interested in the compensation practices of employers.”

“Given the enormous costs associated with compliance . . . it is imperative that OMB review the information collection and either issue a stay in the effectiveness of its prior approval or rescind its prior approval altogether . . . .”

The Chamber of Commerce’s February 27, 2017 letter is available in its entirety here.

Current Regulatory Policy

The additional EEO-1 reporting obligations created in 2016 are inconsistent with the current administration’s views on federal regulations.

President Trump’s January 30, 2017 Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs stated that “it is essential to manage the costs associated with the governmental imposition of private expenditures required to comply with Federal regulations.”

What Should Employers Do?

The EEOC’s statement on the suspension of the new Form EEO-1 pay data requirements notes that:

“Employers should plan to comply with the earlier approved EEO-1 (Component 1) by the previously set filing date of March 2018.”

This will include demographic information (race, ethnicity, and gender) as in the past. But it will not include information about compensation or hours worked.

The EEOC will provide additional information about the EEO-1 based on OMB’s review.

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