EEOC

One is the Loneliest Number: President Proposes Merging OFCCP Into EEOC

The President released his budget which includes separate proposals for various government agencies.  The budget proposal for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), which oversees affirmative action and non-discrimination requirements for federal contractors, includes a plan for the government to fold the agency into the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  The proposal tasks OFCCP with working collaboratively to develop and implement a plan to complete the merger by September 30, 2018.  The proposal touts increased efficiencies in the form of consolidated government EEO oversight and enforcement “under one roof.”  Perhaps to facilitate this move to a common agency, the administration has proposed slashing OFCCP’s budget by over $17 million to $88 million for FY 2018 and reducing staff by 131 positions.  This would be accomplished by closing field office locations and other cost savings measures.

The proposed merger raises many questions including: READ MORE

Equal Pay Is Here To Stay

As predictions abound regarding what a Trump presidency will mean for employers, including which laws and regulations might be amended, scaled back, or repealed all together, the issue of pay equity is likely here to stay.  Over the past year, numerous states – including several with Republican governors – have enacted aggressive equal pay legislation, following California’s lead in 2015.  Additionally, activist shareholder groups continue to exert pressure by filing proposals that, if passed, require companies to disclose publicly the percentage “pay gap” between male and female employees, and planned steps to address it.  And while pay equity is not at the top of Trump’s political agenda, his daughter Ivanka has been an equal pay advocate, perhaps signaling that the EEOC’s final rule requiring employers with more than 100 employees to report W-2 pay data to the federal government through new EEO-1 reporting requirements may not be on the Trump chopping block.  Accordingly, smart employers will stay the course on equal pay, including by following these recommendations:

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EEOC Announces Final Rule on Equal Pay Disclosures

Yesterday, the EEOC announced that it had finalized a regulation that will increase disclosure requirements regarding employee compensation for thousands of businesses. The new rule, which we’ve blogged about previously, requires all businesses with 100 or more workers to submit pay data by gender, race and ethnicity on their EEO-1 forms. Specifically, employers will now need to provide:

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Equal Pay and Equity Status: Recent Wave of Litigation Brings Gender Gap at Major Law Firms to the Forefront

In an emerging trend, law firms have found themselves the targets of recent lawsuits alleging gender discrimination against female partners.  Most recently, Kerrie Campbell, a litigation partner at Chadbourne & Parke’s Washington, D.C. office filed a $100 million proposed class action lawsuit on behalf of all female partners at the firm.  She alleges that Chadbourne’s male-dominated culture leads to unequal compensation for women.  The lawsuit, filed on August 31, 2016, in federal district court in New York, seeks relief under Title VII, the Federal Equal Pay Act, and the District of Columbia Human Rights Act.

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EEOC Provides Second Bite of the Apple on EEO-1 Report Proposal

The EEOC has provided a second chance to comment on its proposed revisions to the EEO-1 form.  The revised proposal does not change the EEOC’s insistence on collecting pay and hours worked data and does not fully respond to employers’ concerns regarding the burden and usefulness of collecting the data.  Rather, the EEOC revised the report to change the due dates to coordinate reporting of demographic and additional data beginning in March 2018.  The comment period for the revised proposal closes August 15, 2016.

The EEOC’s efforts arise from the government’s larger efforts to enforce pay equity through a series of reporting, enforcement and voluntary initiatives.  This reporting initiative follows a now-abandoned effort by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to obtain pay data in an equal pay report.  EEOC has joined with OFCCP to collect and share pay data to bolster its reporting and enforcement efforts.

On January 29, 2016, the EEOC asked the Office of Management and Budget to approve a change to the EEO-1 form.  As discussed in more detail here, EEOC proposed that beginning in September 2017, EEO-1 filers with 100 or more employees would be required to submit EEO-1 data to include aggregated W-2 pay and hours worked data.  The Agency scheduled hearings and invited various stakeholders including Orrick’s Gary Siniscalco to testify regarding the proposal.  Orrick’s testimony can be found here. READ MORE

Orrick to Provide Testimony on EEOC’s Proposed Revisions to the EEO-1 Report

On March 16, 2016 the EEOC will be holding hearings on its proposal  to expand the EEO-1 report to require employers to provide pay data. Orrick’s Gary Siniscalco was asked to address the hearing to provide employer views on this issue. Watch our Blog for ongoing developments on this issue and  new developments in the equal pay area as they continue to unfold. The text of Gary’s testimony before the EEOC will be as follows:

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DOL and EEOC to Make 2016 A Challenging Year for Employers

Members of the Fair Labor Standards Legislation Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Labor and Employment Law recently met.  The meeting includes employer and employee advocates, as well as government officials.  The meeting often highlights not only the present status of regulations, policy and pending litigation but also provides a window into coming trends that may be important for employers.  We highlight a few takeaways.

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Cross-Border Trends: UK to Follow US Attack on the Gender Pay Gap

Following months of waiting the UK Government has finally published its draft regulations on the new “gender pay gap reporting” requirements in the UK. On publication of the draft regulations, the UK Government has asked one final consultation question: “What, if any, modifications should be made to these draft regulations?” – And so it would appear that the draft regulations are nearing but possibly not quite in final form, pending any pertinent responses received.

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Taking a Page from DOL’s Playbook, EEOC Seeks to Add Pay Data to EEO-1 Reports

In August 2014, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contractor Programs (“OFCCP”) proposed that federal contractors report compensation information on an Equal Pay report. Amid significant contractor comments that OFCCP coordinate with the EEOC to amend the Employer Information Report (“EEO-1”), EEOC did so on January 29, 2016. The EEOC intends to ask the Office of Management and Budget to approve additional data collection that would require most employers to submit aggregate data on pay ranges and hours worked. The EEOC believes that the additional data “will assist [EEOC and OFCCP] in identifying possible pay discrimination and assist employers in promoting equal pay in their workplaces.” However, questions remain whether this data would yield any meaningful analysis of actual pay differences that would assist either agency in uncovering pay discrimination.

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An Attorney is an Attorney is an Attorney? Not So Fast Says Second Circuit, Shutting Down EEOC Equal Pay Act Claim

The EEOC suffered another fatal blow to its systemic discrimination initiative on Monday when the Second Circuit held that the Commission’s Equal Pay Act (EPA) complaint against the New York Port Authority was too barebones to survive.

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