Day two of the 2017 ILG National Conference is in the books. Conference attendees had a variety of sessions to choose from that covered topics across the spectrum. The morning, however, kicked-off with a much anticipated keynote address from Acting EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic. Commission Lipnic spoke at last year’s conference, prior to being appointed Acting Chair, where she shared her thoughts about the role of EEOC, it’s goals and her personal thoughts on the EEO-1 pay data reporting tool.
And she did much the same this year, spending a good portion of her allotted time speaking on the need of employers to address ageism in the workplace. But she did not shy away from recognizing the “most important thing” conference attendees wanted to talk about was the EEO-1 pay data reporting tool. Giving a nod to the historical significance of the Alamo, Commissioner Lipnic questioned whether she was Davy Crockett or The Mexican Army.
All joking aside, Commissioner Lipnic acknowledged that “time is of the essence” and contractors need to know soon what will be done with the report so they can start making investments and system changes necessary to comply. She reported that in response to a petition by the U.S Chamber, the Office of Management and Budget is re-evaluating the burden estimate associated with the revised EEO-1 report. In connection with its review, Commission Lipnic shared she has written to the newly appointed head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), the office within the OMB tasked with review of the report, pointing out the impeding March 2018 reporting deadline, requesting OIRA have a response by the end of month – before the Labor Day holiday. In Commissioner Lipnic’s words
“I have done everything I can think of to do to get people to focus on this.”
She went on to share that while she continues to believe the regulation is a “poster-child” for the kind of regulation the President campaigned against, she believes it is a “false choice” that if you are “not in favor of this [regulation] that you are not in favor of equal pay.”
Recognizing at the beginning of her remarks that the Agency is operating in a
“deeply divided country where so many people feel left out,”
and that this is a “critical time” for the country and the Agency, Commissioner Lipnic assured the audience at the conclusion of her address that the Agency’s core mission and core value’s remain.
As a side note, speculating on the topic of the proposed merger between EEOC and OFCCP, Commissioner Lipnic said she did not think it would happen. No official decision, either way, has been reported.