Women’s Advocacy Groups Successfully Unfreeze Wage And Hour Data, But Will Employers Need To Comply?

Last week, a D.C. District Court Judge in National Women’s Law Center v. OMBlifted the Trump Administration’s freeze on a 2016 EEOC rule that revises the annual EEO-1 report to require employers to include W-2 wages and hours worked for all employees within 12 pay bands for each of the 10 EEO-1 job categories.

The EEOC has long required employers with more than 50 employees to file annual EEO-1 reports, but historically these reports have been limited to requiring disclosure of only the number of individuals employed in various job categories by sex, race and ethnicity. In 2016, the EEOC issued a rule, originally set to go into effect in 2018, that adds pay data to facilitate enforcement of equal pay laws and identification of discriminatory pay practices. But in 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), froze the rule. Several women’s advocacy groups filed suit against OMB to lift the freeze. As noted above, the U.S. District Court granted the advocacy groups’ request.

What Should You Do Now?

It’s not yet clear whether or when employers will have to comply with the new EEO-1 requirements. The District Court has given the EEOC until April3, 2019 to explain how it will implement the rule. But, if the OMB appeals the District Court’s ruling, the OMB freeze could remain in effect a bit longer. In any case, given the continuing uncertainty and the increased attention on pay equity issues, employers should start gathering this extra pay data, or at least ensure that they can produce the requested data if and when they’re required to do so. More importantly, employers should also consider conducting pay equity analyses under attorney supervision so that they can identify and address any potentially problematic pay disparities.

.What Else is Coming? LGBTQ Legal Protections under Title VII

On March 6, 2018, a bipartisan group of Senators reintroduced the Equality Act, a bill that amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to prohibit discrimination due to sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. The legislation would extend to 28 states LGBTQ protections against discrimination where none currently exist.

This article is part of a series that highlights legal changes Illinois employers must know now. We’ll keep you updated on newly introduced laws as they’re debated and enacted. You can follow us here or connect with us on LinkedIN to receive future posts in your news stream.