Employment Defense: Closing the Pay Gap One Government Regulation at a Time
The discourse around equal pay has reverberated through the media and made its way to a new federal regulation that seeks to identify and address instances in which persons of different sex, race, and ethnicity earn different wages for the same work. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently announced the revival of this Obama-era requirement that adds payroll data to the Employer Information Report (“EEO-1”). The EEOC will then use this information to support the agency’s civil rights enforcement.
While the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) suspended the pay data reporting requirement in August 2017, the stay was challenged in federal district court. In National Women’s Law Center, et al. v. Office of Management and Budget, et al., a federal judge lifted the stay concluding that the OMB’s action was illegal. The federal government has since filed a Notice of Appeal seeking to reverse the order, but this does not currently alter the filing obligations.
Not only must employers take action to comply with the federal district’s court order, but as the EEOC recently announced on the agency’s website, filers must also provide payroll data for both calendar years 2017 and 2018. Covered employers, those businesses with at least 100 employees (a lower threshold for federal contractors), are required to disclose their payroll data information by the September 30, 2019 filing deadline.