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Employers unsure when to start complying for EEO-1

Published on September 5th, 2017 by Triton Benefits & HR Solutions

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's rule regarding the revised EEO-1 form was scheduled to go into effect March 31, 2018. The new requirement obligates every private employer with at least 100 staff members to list W-2 wages and hours worked in addition to demographic information on the EEO-1. However, because of transitions within the current federal administration, employers are questioning if and when they should start preparing for these changes.

Critics of the rule have long said it puts too much burden on businesses and risks invading employees' privacy. It's true that the new measure will require much effort on the part of employers. Although businesses still have approximately half a year before they need to comply, The National Law Review noted that if the March 2018 start date remains, many organizations will need to begin preparing immediately. However, thanks to recent changes in government, the future of the rule is uncertain.

Businessman signing a form.The new form asks for compensation and hours worked.

The Trump administration's approach to the revised EEO-1 form

There are many factors in place causing employers to suspect the new mandate will ultimately be withdrawn. To start with, acting EEOC Chair Victoria Lipnic originally voted against the requirement. She recently described her efforts to have it rescinded during an August 3 speech at the Industrial National Liaison Group's annual conference. She also noted the EEOC can't yet revoke the ruling because it won't have enough votes until all pending appointments are confirmed, wrote law firm McGuire Woods. 

To that end, as the Society for Human Resource Management reported, President Donald Trump nominated Janet Dhillon and Lt. Daniel Gade to the EEOC. Both are Republicans who are presumed to withdraw the requirement if confirmed. 

However, Lipnic did mention in her speech that she sympathized with employers who need a firm answer on the future of the EEO-1 form. She sent a memo to the White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs asking that the organization decide whether or not to suspend the rule by the end of the current month.

Should businesses start preparing?

Unfortunately, this ambiguity has left employers in the dark regarding future EEOC compliance. Proskauer Rose LLC attorney Connie Gertram told the SHRM her recommendation is to assume the implementation will proceed on schedule.

"While we await the passage of the final 2018 appropriations bill, employers should continue to operate under the assumption that the revised Form EEO-1 will be implemented as planned," she said. "This is particularly true in light of EEOC's silence on the revised Form EEO-1."

That said, it might not be necessary for all qualifying businesses to take action just yet. The amount of preparation time required varies depending on the number of employees and the complexity of a company's HR and payroll systems. Triton Benefits and HR Solutions can help businesses determine the right actions to take pending the outcome of the EEO-1 form.