March 30, 2016

EEOC Holds Hearing on Proposed Changes to EEO-1 Form

On March 16, 2016, the EEOC held a public hearing on its proposed revisions to the Employee Information Report (EEO-1). The hearing opened with statements from each of the EEOC commissioners.  Following the EEOC opening statements, OFCCP Director, Patricia Shiu, and OFCCP’s Director of Policy and Program Development, Debra Carr, provided testimony on the collaboration between the agencies in preparing this proposal, and how the proposed revisions to the EEO-1 will serve the purposes of the OFCCP’s previously proposed Equal Pay Report, without a separate reporting requirement.

The hearing then proceeded to move through three separate panels of five individuals each. Each panel began with a brief introduction and summary of their written testimony, which was provided in advance of the hearing and is available online. EEOC commissioners then took turns asking questions.

The invited panelists were almost evenly split between those strongly in favor of the proposed EEO-1 revisions (e.g., the NAACP, the US Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and academic researchers) and those with significant reservations (e.g., National Federation of Independent Business, SHRM, EEAC and US Chamber of Commerce). The reservations can be bucketed into four broad categories: issues with the EEOC’s burden estimate, issues with the type of data being collected, issues with the proposed use of the data, and confidentiality concerns.

As mentioned above, panelists voiced concerns to the EEOC commissioners about the burden, especially as it pertains to small employers (e.g., 101 employees). The EEOC commissioners seemed particularly open to considering calendar year reporting, to reduce the burden of pulling W-2 data off-cycle. Regarding the type of data being collected, some panelists suggested that annualized base pay would be a better type of data to use, as it would both reduce the burden of pulling data from multiple systems and decrease the error that may be introduced based on time in company with W-2 data (i.e., if two employees make the exact same salary, but one started 2 months before the pull date and the other started 10 months before the pull date, they would be erroneously reported in different pay bands using W-2 earnings, but not so using annualized base pay).

DCI predicts this proposal will move forward and the EEOC will likely try to make this final by September. It seems increasingly likely that they may be willing to move to a calendar year reporting for EEO-1 reports to reduce burden, but it is still unclear how many of the other alternatives proposed in comments will be applied. Remember, the EARLIEST this requirement would become effective is September, 2017. Stay tuned!

By Kristen Pryor, Consultant, and Bryce Hansell, Associate Consultant at DCI Consulting Group 

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