Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: New EEOC Requirement a Critical Step Forward in the Fight to Ensure Equal Pay for All Workers, Says CAP’s Jocelyn Frye
Press Statement

STATEMENT: New EEOC Requirement a Critical Step Forward in the Fight to Ensure Equal Pay for All Workers, Says CAP’s Jocelyn Frye

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor, announced the final revisions to the Employer Information Report, also known as the EEO-1 Report. This report is a critical step forward in the fight to ensure equal pay for all workers. With these new revisions, employers with 100 or more employees will now be required to provide pay data broken down by race, ethnicity, and gender for the nine job categories on the annual EEO-1 form.

Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Jocelyn Frye issued the following statement in response:

This announcement is welcome progress that is much-needed and long overdue. For years, federal enforcement efforts to combat pay discrimination have been hampered by limited access to employer pay data. As a result, enforcement officials often have had too little information about employer pay practices or pay disparities when trying to determine how best to target their limited enforcement resources. The new revisions will provide enforcement officials with invaluable information about employer pay practices and help pinpoint occupational pay differences and trends. Furthermore, the changes may incentivize employers to scrutinize their own pay practices more regularly in order to identify and remedy problems as quickly as possible.

Robust, vigorous enforcement of pay discrimination laws is vital to help ensure that American workplaces operate free of discrimination. Yet uncovering pay discrimination can be especially difficult. Discussions about pay, even if legally permissible, are discouraged in many workplaces, and private-sector workers typically do not know how much their colleagues earn. Thus, it is essential to ensure that officials charged with enforcing pay discrimination laws have all the investigatory tools they need at their disposal. The revised EEO-1 form is a commonsense change that will make a huge difference in strengthening enforcement efforts, improving pay practices, and ensuring that all workers are paid fairly.

The revised EEO-1 form makes final a January 2016 proposal announced by President Obama and is expected to cover roughly 63 million employees. The new requirement will apply to pay data for 2017, and the first form with these revisions will be due in March 2018.

In 2015, the most recent year for which data are available, full-time, year-round working women earned just 80 cents for every dollar made by men. The wage gap for women of color is even more stark, with Hispanic and African American women earning just 54 cents and 63 cents, respectively, for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.

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For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Chelsea Kiene at [email protected] or 202.478.5328.