2019Equal Pay
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the agency enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – has told employers that they must submit EEO-1 Compensation Data for 2017 and 2018 to the EEOC by September 30, 2019, through an online portal at https://eeoccomp2.norc.org.

As ordered by the decision in National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), et al., v. Office of Management and Budget, et al., Civil Action No. 17-cv-2458 (D.D.C.), EEO-1 filers must submit Component 2 data for calendar year 2017, in addition to Component 2 data for calendar year 2018, by September 30, 2019.

Employers and federal contractors must submit Component 2 data for 2017 if they had 100 or more employees during the workforce snapshot period of that year, and must submit Component 2 data for 2018 if they had 100 or more employees during the workforce snapshot period of that year. 

The “workforce snapshot period” is an employer-selected pay period between October 1 and December 31 of the reporting year. The EEOC has contracted with NORC at the University of Chicago to conduct the Component 2 EEO-1 Compensation Data Collection for 2017 and 2018.

Additional resources – including FAQs, Sample Data Collection Form, Instruction Booklet for Filers, User’s Guide, and Fact Sheet – are at https://eeoccomp2.norc.org. Employers with questions about the collection should call NORC toll-free at (877) 324-6214 or send an email to [email protected].

The EEO-1 Report is a compliance survey mandated by federal statute and regulations that requires company employment data to be categorized by race/ethnicity, gender, and job category so it can be used to support civil rights enforcement and to analyze employment patterns of women and minorities.

In August of 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sent the EEOC a memorandum “initiating a review and immediate stay of the effectiveness of those aspects of the EEO-1 form that were revised on September 29, 2016.” The NWLC challenged the OMB’s hold on the pay-data collection and won.

On September 12, 2019, the EEOC published a Notice of Information Collection Regarding the EEO-1 in the Federal Register that “makes clear that the Commission is not renewing its request for authorization to collect Component 2.” Written comments on this notice must be submitted on or before November 12, 2019.

The EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal to discriminate against a person on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Employers can violate Title VII by disproportionately screening out a Title VII-protected group and not demonstrating a business necessity.

The EEOC helps to ensure equal pay for women. In May 2019, a Kansas school district agreed to pay $11,250 to settle an equal pay discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC. In April 2019, a manufacturer of diesel engines agreed to pay $77,500 to settle an EEOC equal pay discrimination lawsuit.

Figures from the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) show the gender wage gap has narrowed by less than one-half a penny per year since Congress passed the Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963. Women earned 80 percent of what men earned in 2015, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Laws banning salary history questions by employers will increase as the equal pay movement to narrow the gender wage gap grows. This trend was chosen by global background check provider Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) as one of the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” for 2019.

“If new pay is based on previous pay, then gender pay gaps are perpetuated. The goal of equal pay laws is to base compensation on the work performed and not rely on previous pay that may reflect gender discrimination,” explained ESR founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Attorney Lester Rosen.

“When an employer has a background screening firm perform past employment verifications, it is critical that firm knows which cities, counties, and states prohibit such questions, as well as software that facilitates compliance with equal pay laws, or else that employer could be fined,” said Rosen.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) offers employers flexible and customizable employment verifications that provide the salary history of applicants only if permitted by state and local equal pay laws. To learn more, visit www.esrcheck.com/Background-Checks/Verifications-References/.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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