Federal Judge Reinstates EEOC Pay Data Collection, Effective Immediately
A U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia vacated the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) stay of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) revised EEO-1 form and the September 15, 2017, Federal Register Notice implementing the stay (Staying the Effectiveness of the EEO-1 Pay Data Collection, 82 Fed. Reg. 43362). Nat’l Women’s Law Ctr. et al. v. OMB et al., No. 17-2458 (D.D.C. Mar. 4, 2019). The court immediately restored the prior directives of the EEOC and OMB requiring use of a revised EEO-1 form where employers with at least 100 employees have to report detailed information on their employees’ wages and hours, broken down by gender, race, and ethnicity.
The decision arises in a case brought by the National Women’s Law Center and other plaintiffs against OMB and the EEOC in which the plaintiffs challenged OMB’s decision to stay the EEOC’s pay data collection efforts. The expanded pay data collection was initially approved by OMB under the Obama Administration in September 2016. The Trump Administration stayed the pay data collection in August 2017, after concluding the pay reporting requirements would be too burdensome. The plaintiffs argued the pay data collection efforts are central to closing the race and gender wage gaps.
Judge Tanya S. Chutkan held that OMB’s stay of EEOC’s pay data collection was illegal because it did not comply with OMB’s regulations. In particular, the court held that OMB had not shown that a relevant circumstance changed or that there was good cause shown after consultation to support the change in position.
Having found that the OMB’s stay of the EEOC’s pay data collection was inappropriate, Judge Chutkan acknowledged that there was discretion to fashion an appropriate remedy. Judge Chutkan held that vacatur of the OMB stay was appropriate and immediately restored the EEOC’s prior pay data collection requirements. Judge Chutkan dismissed arguments that vacatur and restoration of the prior directive would cause disruption, saying that the argument was unsupported by the record.
The current EEO-1 filing deadline for 2018 is May 31, 2019. We will continue to monitor developments and provide updates as they become available.