July 20, 2020

Independent Study of EEOC 2017 and 2018 Pay Data Underway

On July 16, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that the National Acad­emies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) will conduct an independent study of the EEOC’s Employer Information Report (EEO-1 Report) Component 2 data, which was collected last year. Pursuant to a court order, covered employers were required to provide new Component 2 EEO-1 data reports for two years of their employees’ W-2 wage information and total hours worked in 12 pay bands by gender, race and ethnicity. The collection ultimately sought pay data for fiscal years 2017 and 2018 and was due on September 30, 2019.

The CNSTAT study will examine the quality and utility of the pay data collected for 2017 and 2018. Although the study will be independently led by CNSTAT, the committee will assemble a panel of experts to conduct the study, consisting of subject matter experts in statistical and computational methods, survey research, economic, social, demographic and other related fields. The panel members will also be screened for potential conflicts of interest during the tenure of the study.

The panel members will hold public meetings for purposes of collecting information from stakeholders, conduct closed internal meetings for deliberation and recommendation purposes and issue a final re­port. The final report will undergo an independent review by the National Academies before its public release. The CNSTAT study began on July 1, 2020 and is expected to be complete by December 31, 2021.

CNSTAT is familiar with evaluating pay data for the EEOC. In 2012, CNSTAT issued a final report, Collecting Compensation Data from Employers, where it concluded that the collection of earnings data would be a significant undertaking for the EEOC and possibly burdensome on some employers. 

As previously reported, the EEOC decided not to seek renewed approval to collect pay data. The CNSTAT study, however, may signal consideration of future pay data collections. Also, employers should keep in mind that, in late 2018, the EEOC established the Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics (OEDA) which equips the agency’s investigators and enforcement officials with data and analytical tools. At Faegre Drinker, we will continue to monitor developments related to potential additional requirements for employers to provide Component 2 EEO-1 pay data.

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