On July 16, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it had unanimously voted to fund a statistical study of the EEO-1 Component 2 data collected for 2017 and 2018. This additional EEO-1 data collection ordered by a federal district judge required employers to file reports showing employee pay and hours-worked information for 2017 and 2018.

The Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will conduct the study of the collected pay data. According to the EEOC, CNSTAT will provide an independent assessment of the quality and utility of the pay data collected from employers. Chair of the EEOC Janet Dhillon said in the EEOC’s announcement  that this study will not only “answer critical questions about the data that was collected, but will give the Commission valuable information as we consider the future of pay data collection.”

The EEOC has made recent statements suggesting that it is considering collecting pay data in the future, so this study may be used to refine the plans for that future effort. The EEOC also said in its announcement that CNSTAT “will assemble an expert panel,” which “will hold public meetings to collect input from stakeholders, including representatives of organizations or interest groups, [and] hold closed internal meetings to allow the panel to deliberate and formulate recommendations for the EEOC.”

The results of the study, which is expected to be completed by December 31, 2021, may be helpful not only to determine any potential pay data collection efforts but also to answer lingering questions from employers as to the utility of the abbreviated, and at times confusing, effort to collect pay data.

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