Predicting what any new presidential administration will or won’t do based on campaign statements is risky. Nonetheless, we may glean some insights. For instance, of the equal employment opportunity priorities mentioned during the campaign, the President-elect and his daughter, Ivanka, spent time talking about wage equality and childcare. For example, on the news program, 60 Minutes, Ms. Trump stated, “I’ve said throughout the campaign that I am very passionate about certain issues. And that I want to fight for them… Wage equality, childcare. These are things that are very important for me… Really promoting more opportunities for women.”
Does this suggest the new EEO-1 report will survive, despite its burdens? There are a few likely options: (1) Throw the baby out with the bath water – get rid of the whole thing – which EEOC and OFCCP could accomplish with relative ease; (2) Leave the report as is. This option appears unlikely because of the burden imposed on employers: gathering the data from multiple employer systems – HRIS (race, gender and position information), payroll (W-2 earnings) and timekeeping (hours worked); or, (3) Modify the report to decrease the burden by, for example, replacing W-2 data with annualized base pay. Annualized pay is accessible from the HRIS with race/gender and job information, and, because pay is annualized, it alleviates the need for work hours reporting.
So what do employers do now? As with the recently enjoined overtime regulations, there are downsides to each option. Some are sitting tight, waiting to see what happens. Others are moving forward in preparation by testing their reporting systems and making adjustments and planning a trial run in first quarter 2017 to mimic the 2018 reporting requirements. As is the case in many situations, a compromise approach may be the best choice.
The fate of the report must, of course, await new leadership from EEOC and OFCCP conferring and determining the best path forward. We will provide updates as they develop … stay tuned.