On August 29, the White House's Office of Management and Budget informed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that it is initiating an immediate stay of the Obama-era pay data collection rule.

The OMB said it intends to review the effectiveness of the pay data collection rule, which was designed to help the federal government identify possible pay discrimination and assist employers in promoting equal pay in their workplaces.

The rule would have required private employers and federal contractors with at least 100 employees to report employee pay by race and gender on the revised EEO-1 form for the 2017 calendar year by March 31, 2018.

'Unnecessarily Burdensome'

The decision to put the rule on hold and review it was conveyed to EEOC Acting Chair Victoria Lipnic by Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Neomi Rao, who, according to a Washington Post article, wrote that "OMB is concerned that some aspects of the revised collection of information lack practical utility, are unnecessarily burdensome, and do not adequately address privacy and confidentiality issues."

CBIA's HR Counsel Mark Soycher agrees with that assessment.

"The CBIA HR Hotline has been receiving inquiries on the pay data collection rule from member companies anticipating next year's filing deadline, so this is welcome news," says Soycher.

"The rule was a poorly conceived and ineffective approach by the EEOC to address the issue of pay discrimination, and the proposed addition to existing reporting mandates would have caused significant disruption to many HRIS and payroll systems.

"Hopefully the EEOC will work with the business community and organizations like SHRM to explore more suitable strategies."

The EEOC reminds employers that the previously approved EEO-1 form that collects data on race, ethnicity, and gender by occupational category will remain in effect, and employers should plan to comply with the earlier approved EEO-1 (Component 1) by the previously set filing date of March 31, 2018.