The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has until April 3 to tell a federal judge in Washington D.C. how it will carry out her order to gather information on employee pay in its annual survey of employers.
The case before U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan concerns a 2014 directive from the Obama administration to the EEOC to begin collecting employee pay data from employers who were already required to report employee data based on ethnicity, gender, and race on the annual Employer Information Report (EEO-1).
The move was intended to identify gender and race pay disparities by making employers disclose how they pay workers in different job categories.
The EEOC announced the annual pay data collection would begin in December 2017.
Companies with at least 100 employees, and government contractors with at least 50 employees and more than $50,000 in contracts are subject to the annual EEO-1 filing requirement.
Employers presently must list on the EEO-1 their employees along ethnic, racial, and gender lines. The expanded data reporting would require employers to also list job titles based on 10 categories and compensation based on 12 pay ranges.
White House Delay
However, the White House Office of Management and Budget delayed implementing the pay data collection rule so it could be reviewed under the Paperwork Reduction Act to determine the impact on employers.
The Trump administration also expressed concerns whether the data would be kept private.
The National Women's Law Center and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement sued OMB in November 2017, claiming its delay of pay data collection was unlawful.
Earlier this month, Judge Chutkan said OMB failed to say what was wrong with the rule when it blocked its implementation.
She ordered OMB on March 4 to restore the pay data requirements.
The OMB on March 18 began collecting annual EEO-1 data reports from employers, but not employee pay data.
The current year's EEO-1 filing deadline was already extended from March 31, 2019 to May 31, 2019, due to the government shutdown.
On March 19, the plaintiffs were back before Judge Chutkan because they felt OMB was dragging its feet.
Judge Chutkan gave OMB until April 3 to file a brief that describes how they will implement her order.
The plaintiffs have until April 8 to respond.
OMB may also appeal Judge Chutkan's decision.