GOP Senators to Administration: Give Americans More Time to Weigh in on Proposal to Increase by 20-Fold Data EEOC Requires From Employers

Under new rule, 61,000 private-sector employers will be forced to submit data about every employee’s pay and hours

Posted on March 22, 2016

WASHINGTON, March 22 – Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today led a group of 10 Senate Republicans in asking for more time for Americans to weigh in on the administration’s new proposal to increase by 20 times the employment data it currently collects from each of the 61,000 private employers on their 63 million employees.

The letter, sent today to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Jenny Yang, requests that the EEOC give the public 90 days to review the proposal that would “significantly increase the amount of data employers would be required to submit to the federal government.” The EEOC’s proposal, released in February, would expand Employer Information Report (EEO-1) reporting requirements so that in addition to turning over information about every employee’s race/ethnicity, sex, and job category, private sector employers must also turn into the federal government their employee’s pay and hours worked—a 20-fold increase in data required.

In the letter, the senators write, “EEOC states in the proposal that it expects more than 60,000 employers to have to collect this information for the first time; therefore, a longer comment period is needed.  The additional time would enable employers and the public to gather data, provide more robust feedback, and collect more precise estimates about the costs and benefits of the proposed changes compared to what EEOC has estimated… In addition, employers and the public need time to evaluate and comment on potential unintended consequences of new disclosure requirements such as compensation information being used for competitive advantage for businesses.  Finally, EEOC failed to adequately explain how the new information will be used in its enforcement efforts.”

The letter was sent by Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).

Last week, Senator Alexander introduced the EEOC Reform Act to subject the Obama Administration to this same “absurd” data collection rule it plans to impose on 61,000 employers.

The full text of the letter is below and can be viewed online here.

Dear Chair Yang –

We write today to request that the comment period be extended for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) recent proposal to revise the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) which would require certain private sector employers to report to the EEOC data regarding employees’ pay and hours worked. We encourage the EEOC to allow the public additional time to review the proposal by extending the comment period to 90 days.

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, the EEOC’s current proposal has a 60 day comment period that ends on April 1, 2016. EEOC states in the proposal that it expects more than 60,000 employers to have to collect this information for the first time; therefore, a longer comment period is needed.  The additional time would enable employers and the public to gather data, provide more robust feedback, and collect more precise estimates about the costs and benefits of the proposed changes compared to what EEOC has estimated.  For example, the EEOC’s proposal makes several assumptions as to the burden it would impose on employers, but concerns have been raised about the basis of the figures used to calculate the burden.  In addition, employers and the public need time to evaluate and comment on potential unintended consequences of new disclosure requirements such as compensation information being used for competitive advantage for businesses.  Finally, EEOC failed to adequately explain how the new information will be used in its enforcement efforts.

The EEOC’s current proposal would significantly increase the amount of data that employers would be required to submit to the federal government.  Therefore, we request the EEOC extend the comment period to 90 days in order for the public to thoroughly review the proposal.

We appreciate your time and attention to our request, and we look forward to staying apprised of any further developments.

 

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