Many employers who were anticipating demanding changes to their federal reporting requirements will now have one less thing to worry about as we head towards years end. On August 29, 2017, the Office of Management and Budgets (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced an indefinite stay of the new EEO-1 reporting form. That form had been announced exactly eleven months prior and was scheduled to take effect for the 2017 reporting year. The timing of this stay means that employers reporting 2017 data, which is due on March 31, 2018, will need to include only the demographic information they always have collected, rather than the greatly enhanced reporting information that was expected based on the new form.
EEO-1 reports are required of private sector employers with 100 or more employees as well as all federal contractors. The existing form requires that covered employers report their employees demographic information, including race and gender information. The new version of the form, however, would have required information regarding hours the employees worked and their compensation as well, divided into 12 separate pay bands designated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Additionally, the snapshot data collection period for reporting would have been changed to the period from October 1 to December 31. Many employers were dreading the added reporting burden presented by these new requirements, and for those employers, the stay will come as welcome news.
So why has the OIRA issued the stay? The EEOC Release states that OIRA informed them that the stay would be put in place to allow for a review of the effectiveness of the compensation data features of the new EEO-1 form. OIRA has used its authority derived under the Paperwork Reduction Act to order and conduct this review and initiate the stay. This move comes amidst the concerted efforts of many business groups to stop the implementation of the new reporting requirements. Employers have been concerned about administrative burdens and expenses of implementing the new reporting. It may well be that the initial consideration of the changes was not entirely accurate. OIRA has reported that the initial burden estimates used when the new reporting was approved may have failed to consider all relevant factors. For the time being, the prior EEO-1 form, which collects data about employees race, ethnicity and gender, divided by employment category, will still be due on the new date, March 31, 2018, and will utilize the new snapshot period of October 1 to December 31.
The St. Louis employment attorneys at McMahon Berger have been representing employers across the country in labor and employment matters, including regulation compliance, for almost sixty years, and are available to discuss these issues and others. As always, the foregoing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice regarding any particular situation as every situation must be evaluated on its own facts. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.