Following a decision by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”), employers may now use the previously approved EEO-1 form to meet their 2017 EEO-1 reporting obligation, before March 31, 2018. Employers must select the data used for the 2017 EEO-1 report from a payroll period in October, November, or December, the fourth quarter of the 2017 calendar year.
A new EEO-1 form, containing expanded reporting requirements on compensation, gender, and hours worked, was to go into effect for the March 2018 deadline. However, on August 29, 2017, the OMB indefinitely postponed the additional data requirements, citing concerns that the expanded collection of information lacked “practical utility,” imposed an undue burden on employers, and failed to adequately address privacy and confidentiality issues. [August 29, 2017 OMB Statement on EEO-1 Form.]
On the heels of OMB’s announcement, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) – the regulatory agency that receives the EEO-1 form and enforces the federal laws related to employment discrimination – reiterated its strong commitment to enforcing equal pay in the aftermath of the decision.
The EEO-1 report is a mandatory employment data report completed by employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees each year. Late last year, the Obama administration announced changes to the form, including certain elements of compensation and gender information in the required employment data, and extending the deadline to file from September 30, 2017 to March 31, 2018.
It’s important to remember – although no longer included in the EEO-1 report, employers may still be required to provide the EEOC or other federal or state agencies (such as the Department of Labor) with compensation-related data during a review or investigation. To help prepare for this type of request, employers should consider proactively reviewing their compensation practices, and, if located in a state with affirmative equal pay laws, such as California, conduct a pay equity audit.
Employers will still be required to file the earlier version of the EEO-1 form before March 31, 2018. You can get a head start now by auditing your EEO-1 information and confirming that you have a response from each employee and integrating an EEO-1 questionnaire into your onboarding process so it’s not a scramble to track down missing data as you prepare your report.
Zenefits empowers employers to effortlessly meet their EEO-1 reporting and compliance obligations by prompting employees to provide EEO-required data during the employee onboarding process, and pre-configuring a report in the Business Intelligence tool that can be uploaded directly into the EEOC’s reporting portal. Zenefits also has a team of HR experts who are ready to help employers navigate all these types of requirements including the common “What do I do if my employee declines to provide EEO data?” question. (Hint – it’s easier than you think!) Contact us today to see how we can help you meet EEO-1, and other compliance obligations.