Daily Labor Report® is the objective resource the nation’s foremost labor and employment professionals read and rely on, providing reliable, analytical coverage of top labor and employment...
Nov. 9 — Donald Trump’s election as president puts into question the EEOC’s recently completed plan to collect pay data from many employers and federal contractors.
Business representatives and congressional Republicans vigorously opposed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s revision of the annual employer information report, or EEO-1 form, to require employers with 100 or more workers to report summary compensation data categorized by race, gender and ethnicity.
The five-member EEOC approved the new EEO-1 form on a 3-2 vote along party lines.
Trump will get to designate a new EEOC chair and sometime during 2017, the commission will flip to a 3-2 Republican majority. Once that change occurs, the EEOC could revisit the pay data collection plan, which currently is scheduled to take effect March 31, 2018.
It may be “logistically difficult,” said James Plunkett, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s director of labor law policy. But expect a Republican-majority EEOC to rescind or revise its EEO-1 form to remove employers’ obligations to report pay data, he told Bloomberg BNA. Plunkett and others spoke with Bloomberg BNA in the days leading up to the election about the impact of a Trump victory on the EEOC.
No dramatic changes at the commission would take place right away, said Michael Eastman, senior counsel and vice president for public policy at the Equal Employment Advisory Council, a Washington association that represents large employers.
But a Republican administration probably will take “a fresh look” at the agency’s pay data collection plan, Eastman told Bloomberg BNA. It’s “entirely possible” a Republican-majority EEOC would make some changes before the March 2018 effective date, he said.
The EEOC’s enforcement priorities and litigation choices also could shift in a Republican administration, Plunkett said.
The agency revised its strategic enforcement plan in late September, again by a 3-2 vote. That plan, which sets priorities through fiscal 2021, said the commission’s new focuses will include gig economy issues, including independent contractor arrangements and joint employer issues.
It said the agency also will focus on “backlash discrimination” against Muslims, Sikhs, Arabs and other persons who are perceived to be members of those religious or ethnic groups.
Trump early in his term will get to nominate a new EEOC general counsel, as current General Counsel P. David Lopez is leaving the agency in December.
A Republican-nominated general counsel might be less aggressive in pursuing employers under novel theories of liability under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal anti-discrimination laws.
The Trump administration might make workplace civil rights less of a priority than the Obama administration did and seek to freeze or reduce the EEOC’s budget and staffing.
A president’s party affiliation historically “comes into play” when deciding on the commission’s funding, investigations and enforcement priorities, said Vicki Shabo, vice president of the National Partnership for Women and Families.
During President George W. Bush’s administration, for example, the EEOC generally didn’t pursue the “robust enforcement” intended under Title VII and the other anti-discrimination laws, Shabo told Bloomberg BNA.
A Republican administration also could seek EEOC “institutional reforms,” Plunkett said.
That might include giving the five commissioners more control over the general counsel’s litigation choices and putting more teeth into Title VII’s requirement that the commission try to conciliate, or settle, discrimination charges before filing lawsuits, he said.
Other potential areas of scrutiny include the EEOC’s rules governing wellness program incentives under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
Business groups want at least to tweak those rules to bring the EEOC more into line with the Affordable Care Act’s regulations that allow employers to offer broader incentives for employee participation in employer-sponsored wellness plans, Plunkett said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin McGowan in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)