No more EEO-1 comp data, EEOC proposes

What a colossal waste this has been.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a Notice, published in yesterday's Federal Register, proposing that it will not seek to collect employers' compensation data (aka "Category 2" data) after the current collection ends.

"All that work for nothing!"

The current collection is ongoing, and the deadline for employers to submit compensation data for 2017 and 2018 is September 30 -- only two weeks from now.

The EEOC is asking the federal Office of Management and Budget to authorize it to continue collecting "Category 1" data (the number of employees in each EEO category by race, ethnicity, and sex) in future years. But it proposes to not seek authorization to continue collecting "Category 2" data.

That means this is probably going to be the last (and only) year that employers will be required to submit compensation data in their EEO-1 reporting unless a future administration decides to revive the Category 2 collections.

The EEOC's justification for the dropping the requirement is that its new Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics reassessed the financial burden on employers in responding to the pay data request. In 2016, the EEOC had estimated the burden at roughly $54 million. The revised estimate is a whopping $614 million for the 2017 data, and an even more whopping $622 million for the 2018 data.


What a complete waste of time, money, and effort this exercise has been. The current EEOC didn't even want the pay data, but they were ordered to collect it by a federal judge in the District of Columbia. According to the judge, the Trump Administration didn't go through the administrative processes required to properly suspend the requirement, which was put in place by the Obama Administration. (That court decision is on appeal.)

Since the EEOC is collecting the 2017 and 2018 data only because it is being forced to do so, what do you think the chances are that it will even look at what it was forced to collect? Meanwhile, the agency and employers have been forced to spend hundreds of millions of dollars complying with this silly requirement.

And, let me make it clear that I am not criticizing this rule because I approve of pay discrimination. I do not. My reasons for opposing the rule are here and here -- it won't provide meaningful information, and it won't identify employers who are discriminating. It's nothing but "busy work" -- very expensive busy work -- for the EEOC and for the employers who are required to report their data.

OK, my rant is at an end. At least you probably won't have to bother with this next year. Kudos to the EEOC for trying to bring it to an end. Some good news for Friday the 13th!

Comments on the EEOC's proposal will be accepted until November 12.

Image Credit: From flickr, Creative Commons license, by IISG.

Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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