On April 1, ABC submitted comments in response to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) proposed revisions to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1), which would require employers with 100 or more employees to provide data on W-2 pay and hours worked, beginning in 2017. ABC urged the EEOC to withdraw the proposal because it imposes an unjustified burden on employers, fails to generate useful and reliable information to combat pay discrimination, and fails to protect the confidentiality of the information. 

In its comments, ABC explained that it is committed to compliance with laws prohibiting discrimination with respect to compensation. However, ABC has serious concerns with the proposal. ABC emphasized that the proposal would require contractors to implement entirely new systems to collect the required W-2 data.  Because many of the systems that contain W-2 data do not also contain demographic data, gathering W-2 pay data by EEO-1 establishment would be extremely burdensome to contractors. Further, contractors also would have to begin collecting and reporting W-2 information over a two-year span because the EEO-1 reporting period is not on a calendar-year basis. 
The proposal also calls upon employers to submit data on the numbers of hours worked by employees. Employers generally do not track the hours worked of exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and having to do so would add significant time and cost to the EEO-1 reporting requirement.

Even though data collection under the proposed rule is clearly onerous, the comments noted that “[a] burden in any amount would be too high in light of the Proposal’s failure to generate useful information.” By simply comparing W-2 wage data across overly broad job categories, the EEOC’s proposal would “not take into account all the various factors that impact individual compensation decisions.” 

ABC also argues that the compensation data about employees is highly confidential and proprietary and the proposal does not adequately protect such sensitive information from disclosure. Further, ABC points out concerns with recent data breaches, such as the massive data breach at the Office of Personnel Management.

ABC also joined comments with numerous other organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).