Robert O’Hara Quoted in “The Procrastinator’s Quick How-To for EEO-1 Reporting”

HR Dive

Robert J. O’Hara, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in HR Dive, in “The Procrastinator’s Quick How-To for EEO-1 Reporting,” by Ryan Golden.

Following is an excerpt:

Regardless of the outcome in the ongoing saga over 2018 EEO-1 filings — the next major update on which is due April 3 — some observers believe pay data reporting is on the way for employers. This is particularly the case as momentum around equal pay continues to build among employee advocates and lawmakers.

The good news about the probability of tacked-on pay data reporting is that HR teams already have, in all likelihood, much of the data they need to comply with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) requirements. Even for employers completely late to the ballgame on pay data analysis, an announcement this week that puts reporting requirements back in play wouldn’t be impossible to deal with, experts told HR Dive. …

Employees generally self-identity demographic information via a survey. The survey can be done as part of the onboarding process, but also can be administered afterward; either way, everyone employed during the employer’s chosen “snapshot” period — a pay period in October, November or December — must be accounted for, Robert O’Hara, member of the firm at Epstein Becker Green, told HR Dive in an interview. EEOC doesn’t endorse any particular survey form for this purpose, but does link to a couple of examples. …

Collecting Pay Data

This is the EEO-1 component that federal agencies must clarify by April 3.

Officially, the pay reporting component is in effect, experts previously told HR Dive following a federal judge’s ruling, and some don’t believe the EEOC can stop the requirements from taking effect this year. But the portal, which opened March 20, did not include this component, hence the confusion.

Even so, the component relies on data accessible to the employer, specifically from two sources: W-2 and hours worked. The latter is “a bit of a contrivance,” O’Hara said, “because [EEOC wants] to try to figure out how many hours are being collected.” The assumption is that a full-time employee is working 40 hours, but employers must also capture overtime if they are paying it out.

EEOC outlines 12 different pay bands, O’Hara said, and the wage data determines which band each employee is counted under. “Then you overlay that over the demographic information in your EEO-1 report,” he explained. …

During this process, employers may find that their human resource information system (HRIS) and payroll systems aren’t aligned, O’Hara noted. “That’s where the re-coding is taking place — how to take the data, sweep the data from payroll systems into HRIS systems,” he said. “They’re two very different things and they don’t typically talk to each other.” It’s not a process that can be set up with just one press of a button, O’Hara said, and having employees properly coded in the HRIS can help, but employers still need to look at every data point to ensure accuracy.