Open Your Books: EEOC to Collect Summary Pay Data by March 2018

On September 29, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that starting in March 2018, it will collect summary employee pay data from certain employers.

The summary pay data will be added to the annual Employer Information Report or EEO-1 report that is coordinated by the EEOC and the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. OFCCP collects data from federal contractors and subcontractors. According to the EEOC, the new data “will improve investigations of possible pay discrimination, which remains a contributing factor to persistent wage gaps.”

Private employers, including federal contractors and subcontractors with 100 or more employees, will be required to report summary pay data. The EEOC admonished that “under no circumstances should employers report individual pay or salaries or any personally identifiable information.”

Federal contractors and subcontractors with 50–99 employees will not be required to report summary pay data, but they will continue to report employees by job category as well as by sex, ethnicity, and race as they do now. Employers with 99 or fewer employees and Federal contractors and subcontractors with 49 or fewer employees will not be required to complete the EEO-1 report, as is current practice.

The EEOC has stated that “it is committed to providing support for employers as they transition to reporting summary pay data on the new EEO-1 report.” In response to public comments, the first deadline for the new 2017 EEO-1 report will be March 31, 2018, which gives employers 18 months to prepare. This revision does not impact the 2016 EEO-1 report, which is due on September 30, 2016 and is unchanged.

The EEOC will offer free webinars for interested employers and stakeholders on October 20 and October 26, 2016. Technical assistance also will be available through the EEOC’s hotline and email. For more information, click here.

The EEOC adopted the new EEO-1 form after an extensive deliberative process that included publication of two versions of the proposed EEO-1 for public comment and a public hearing on March 16, 2016. In total, the EEOC considered written comments from thousands of individuals, employers and their representatives, civil rights and women’s organizations, human resources and payroll associations, and Members of Congress.     

The EEOC does not disclose EEO-1 data for a specific employer; it only publishes large-scale aggregated EEO-1 data in a way that fully protects employer confidentiality and employee privacy. OFCCP holds EEO-1 data for federal contractors and subcontractors confidential to the maximum extent possible under the Freedom of Information Act and the Trade Secrets Act.

More information about the revised EEO-1 report, including the new form, a Fact Sheet for Small Business, and a question and answer document, are available on EEOC’s website. General information for Federal contractors and subcontractors is available on OFCCP’s website.


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