EEOC Plan to Collect W-2 Pay Data Is Put on Hold

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By Michael Trimarchi

A program announced a year ago to collect Form W-2 pay data from employers with at least 100 workers was put on hold Aug. 29 by the Trump administration.

The Office of Management and Budget, in a memorandum to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said the administration was “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 EEOC plan, which was approved during the Obama administration, applied to revised EEO-1 forms to be submitted starting in 2018. The goal of the program was to collect wage information categorized by sex, race, and ethnicity.

Chamber of Commerce officials and many business groups criticized the program as a burden on employers because of payroll-system changes needed to meet the additional requirements as well as extra time to complete the form. The business groups also voiced concerns that the program raised security and privacy issues.

The revised EEO-1 form would have required covered employers to report aggregate wage data based on Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, along with actual hours worked across 12 pay bands in 10 job categories. The first EEO-1 reports with the compensation data were to be filed March 31, 2018, giving employers six more months to prepare recordkeeping systems for the 2017 report. For 2016, the annual EEO-1 employers information report is to be filed by Sept. 30.

The Trump administration canceled the data-reporting program in part because employers “did not receive an opportunity to provide comment on the method of data submission to EEOC,” the OMB memo said. Additionally, EEOC burden estimates “did not account for the use of these particular data file specifications, which may have changed the initial burden estimate,” the memo said.

“EEOC may continue to use the previously approved EEO-1 form to collect data on race/ethnicity and gender during the review and stay,” said the memo from Neomi Rao, administrator for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Trimarchi in Washington at mtrimarchi@bna.com. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Baer at mbaer@bna.com.

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