Authored by,
Kenneth A. Rosenberg, Esq.
Asad Rizvi, Esq.
Fox Rothschild LLP

Recently, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a significant decision reinstating an Obama-era employee pay data-reporting requirement that could have a far-reaching impact on employer practices and policies. Originally announced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in September 2016 at the twilight of the Obama administration, the rule added pay data to the existing employee information that certain private employers and federal contractors must annually report to the federal government in their EEO-1 compliance surveys. The underlying policy behind the rule was to improve investigations of possible pay discrimination and close the wage gap. The rule required the reporting of W-2 wages and total hours worked in the prior year for all employees in 12 proposed pay bands. Shortly before the March 2018 effective date, the Trump administration in August 2017 acting through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) initiated a review and stay of the EEOC’s new collection of pay data, claiming that the EEOC failed to comply with federal rulemaking requirements and imposed unlawful and burdensome collection obligations inconsistent with the Paperwork Reduction Act. Two months later, a women’s advocacy group and a Latin-American trade union joined forces and filed suit against the OMB decision, arguing that the suspension of pay data collection would harm their policy goals of achieving pay equity across race and gender wage gaps.