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EEOC Issues Study about the Effect of Requesting Pay Data from Employers

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A July study was released about the effect of the race and gender pay data the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) collected from employers in 2019 and 2020.  The pay data collection was added as a "Component 2" of the EEOC's annual diversity report known as the EEO-1.  The EEO-1 form describes a workforce's race, sex and ethnic makeup. 

The report on the collection of the race and gender pay data by the National Academies of Sciences found the information useful to the EEOC.  However, the report also said that the 10 job categories used were not specific enough and the 12 pay bands were too broad.  There is no current pay data requirement to complete the EEO-1 form, and the EEOC Commission still has a 3-2 Republican majority.

The EEOC has not indicated whether such pay data will be required in the future, but the current EEOC Commissioners have totally different views of the impact of the recent study.  The three Republican commissioners each released statements that the main takeaway from the report was that the Agency's attempt at collecting pay data was deeply flawed.  They recommended that any future collection of pay data go through a rulemaking process.  Current Democrat EEOC Chair Charlotte Burroughs said the study confirmed that collecting and analyzing such pay data can be a useful tool in preventing and combating pay discrimination.  The employer community is concerned about the level of burden that pay data reporting requirements may have, as well as the misleading nature of the conclusions from the data.

This article is part of our September 2022 Newsletter.

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