EEOC Pay Data Reporting Deadline Is Now September 30, 2019, But an Appeal Is Pending
Employers with 100 or more employees, and federal contractors with 50 or more employees, historically have been required to file annual Employer Information Reports (“EEO-1 Reports”) disclosing their number of employees by job category, race, and sex. In 2016, the Obama administration’s EEOC expanded the required EEO-1 reporting data to include pay and hours worked data. The intention of this expanded reporting requirement was to help the agency identify discriminatory pay gaps. Under this expanded rule, covered employers would have been required to submit the pay data by March 31, 2018. However, in 2017, the Trump administration EEOC abandoned the expanded EEO-1 reporting requirement in favor of simply continuing existing EEO-1 reporting requirements. Advocacy groups, including the National Women’s Law Center, then sued the EEOC and OMB in an effort to reinstate the pay data reporting rule. In a surprising move, a federal district court judge in Washington, D.C. issued a ruling last night agreeing with the National Women’s Law Center that the government’s elimination of the pay data reporting rule was unlawful. In short, the judge held that the government had to have a “reasonable explanation” for changing course on the rule and that they had failed to present one. The judge’s remedy was to vacate the government’s action in rescinding the rule, thereby effectively reinstating the EEO-1 pay data reporting requirement. Employers would have had only until March 31, 2019 to file their expanded annual EEO-1 reports, but the deadline previously was extended to May 31, 2019 as a result of the government shutdown. Following the court ruling that reinstated the reporting requirement, the EEOC pronounced that, in accordance with the court ruling, employers will be required to submit pay data (Component 2 data) for the years 2017 and 2018 by September 30, 2019. (Historically required reporting information (Component 1 data) on the number of employees by job category, race, and sex remains due May 31, 2019).
The EEOC’s action does not mean that the agency agrees with the court ruling; rather, the EEOC was ordered by the court to issue compliance deadlines for the reinstated reporting rule and that’s what it did. Meanwhile, on Friday, the EEOC appealed the court’s ruling. It is expected that the EEOC will file a motion with the appellate court seeking a stay of the ruling pending resolution of the appeal. However, there currently is not a stay and the September 30, 2019 pay data reporting deadline remains in effect. This means that large employers need to start (if they have not done so already) gathering the pay data needed to be in compliance with the reporting rule. We will keep you posted of developments on the appellate front, particularly if a stay of the reporting rule is issued (which would mean that employers need not comply with the pay data reporting rule until the EEOC’s appeal is resolved). For more information on the EEOC’s position on the pay data reporting rule, see the EEOC website here.