EEOC to Increase Employers’ Reporting Requirements
By Chris Olmsted, Esq., Ogletree Deakins
On January 29, 2016, President Obama announced that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) plans to require employers to report what they pay their employees – by gender, race, and ethnicity – to the federal government. The EEOC’s proposal will revise the existing EEO-1 report to require employers to start submitting reports on pay equity in addition to the materials they are currently required to submit. Once effective, the new proposal would require all employers with 100 or more employees to submit an annual report on their employees’ salaries, including W-2 earnings and the hours worked by employees.
The EEOC, which will publish the proposed regulation jointly with the U.S. Department of Labor, is expected to publish the proposal in the Federal Register next week. According to EEOC Chairwoman Jenny Yang, the federal agencies will finalize the rule in September of 2016, and employers will be required to submit their first pay report in September of 2017.
The president’s move to decrease the gender pay gap furthers the Obama administration’s emphasis on pay equity and wage transparency.
Gender pay equity is a recent issue of focus for California employers. California’s Fair Pay Act became law on January 1, 2016. The new state law requires employers to pay employees of the opposite sex equivalent wages “for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions.” This is a significant change from the law’s former requirement that employees of the opposite sex receive equal pay for “equal work.”