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EEOC proposal would require employers to report on pay practices

President Obama recently commemorated the seventh anniversary of his signing of the historic Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by holding a press conference at the White House. However, the event was about more than just celebrating the federal law that provides workers looking to file a pay discrimination complaint with more time.

Indeed, the President used the event to share his concerns about the ongoing problem of pay discrimination based on gender, urge the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, and champion other federal initiatives designed to help ensure equal pay for equal work. 

Interestingly enough, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently unveiled a proposed regulation calling for any employer with 100 or more employees to provide detailed information on their pay practices, breaking this information down by ethnicity, race and gender.

The EEOC indicates that the purpose of the proposed regulation, which would cover roughly 63 million employees, is to "provide better insight into discriminatory pay practices across industries and occupations," and, perhaps more significantly, to identify and investigate those employers whose data suggests that they could be engaging in discriminatory practices.

The proposal, which would take effect in September 2017, is already generating significant criticism. Indeed, many are arguing that it would create something of an administrative nightmare for employers and that the data reported may not be an accurate representation of pay practices. For example, those employees who volunteer for overtime or extra shifts may appear to be earning more.

For its part, the EEOC counters that the proposal wouldn't necessarily be onerous, as it merely requires employers with 100 or more workers to add another category to the report they are already required to submit to the agency on an annual basis. Furthermore, it argues that those employers with a genuine desire to ensure equal pay among workers would be provided with a clearer picture of how they are faring.

What are your thoughts on this EEOC proposal?

If you are an employee who believes that an employer has discriminated against you based on anything from your gender to your race, you should consider sitting down with a proven legal professional who can examine your situation and, if necessary, pursue the proper course of action.     

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