September 23, 2023

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September 22, 2023

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September 21, 2023

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California Issues Guidance on New Pay Data Reporting Requirements But Leaves Some Questions Pending

At the end of California’s 2020 legislative session, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 973 (SB 973), which created pay data reporting requirements for employers starting in March 2021. However, the new legislation left some uncertainty for employers in several areas.

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) promised in mid-October that it would be issuing a Frequently Asked Questions page to assist with compliance. On November 2, it did so—at least partially.  The current page includes additional information on whether the pay data may be released publicly (DFEH may release it, but only in aggregated form) and data privacy and protections (DFEH may not release individually identifiable information publicly).

The FAQs also touch on the rationale behind the need for the State of California to collect this data. The FAQ states in August 2017, the federal government halted the implementation of reporting on pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity, which California believed to be important to recognize potential pay discrimination.  But the FAQs are far from complete. The following sections state that guidance is coming soon:

  • Required content

  • Pay

  • Hours Worked

  • Multi-establishment employers

  • Acquisitions and mergers

  • Spinoffs

Questions regarding the scope of whether pay data reporting extends to employees outside of  California also remain outstanding.

Other tensions currently exist between the State of California and the federal government pertaining to employer data. In late October, the State of California, along with Maryland and Minnesota, filed suit against the EEOC seeking to reverse EEOC’s recent policy of restricting access to annual employer information when requested by states and local fair employment practices agencies such as the DFEH.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2023National Law Review, Volume X, Number 315

About this Author

K. Joy Chin, Jackson Lewis, wage benefits lawyer, affirmative action attorney

Joy Chin is a Principal in the Long Island, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Since joining the firm in 1995, her practice has been devoted exclusively to employment law and related litigation and the firm’s regulatory practice.

Ms. Chin has litigated matters before local, state and federal administrative agencies and in state and federal courts. Ms. Chin is a frequent speaker on affirmative action and creating lawful diversity programs and spends much of her time counseling employers on issues relating to diversity,...

Christopher T. Patrick employment lawyer Jackson Lewis

Christopher T. Patrick is a Principal in the Denver, Colorado, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses equal employment opportunity, including proactive pay equity analyses, compliance with regulations promulgated by the Office of Federal Contracts Compliance Programs (OFCCP), statistical analyses of potential discrimination in employment practices, and defending employment practices in OFCCP audits and investigations.

While attending law school, Mr. Patrick served as on the Editorial Board for The Journal for the National Association of...