The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will collect pay data from both the 2017 and 2018 calendar years as part of its EEO-1 Component 2 pay data collection due Sept. 30, Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic announced in the Federal Register. Component 2 requires the submission of pay and hours data, broken down by wage tier and demographics. More than 80,000 employers are required to file EEO-1s.
WAIT… I THOUGH THIS REQUIREMENT WAS STAYED
It was. Originally in 2016, under the Obama administration, the Office of Management and Budget approved a revised EEO-1 that would require covered employers to also provide employee pay data. However, in Aug. 2017, under the Trump administration, the OMB stayed that requirement stating it was unnecessarily burdensome, lacks practical utility, and did not adequately address privacy and confidentiality concerns.
SO WHY IS IT BACK?
On April 25, 2019, a federal judge ruled that the EEOC must collect two years of Component 2 pay data from employers by Sept. 30. However, the EEOC’ chief data officer said the agency was not equipped to collect the data and would need to use a third-party vendor to comply with the ruling. Component 2 has 25 times the number of data fields of Component 1. (Don’t forget – Component 1 is due by May 31, 2019. And if you were looking for an extension, EEOC revised it to only two weeks.)
Required employers should begin the process of collecting 2017 and 2018 pay data for Component 2. Since the EEOC is not yet prepared to accept so much data, Component 2 filing will not begin until mid-July and will notify filers when the portal is open. However, the initial 2017 OMB concerns about Component 2 are still applicable. The EEOC confirmed that it has significant impact on employers, does not follow industry standards for the collection of sensitive and confidential information, and it does not have the availability to analyze the data. We’ll keep you informed about this new requirement.
ATTACKS ON THE GRID
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) disclosed that an alarmingly simple cyberattack disrupted grid operations servicing Los Angeles and Salt Lake City in March. It’s the first time a digital attack is known to have interfered with electrical grid operations in the U.S., although it didn’t cause any power outages. A 2015 report estimated a major grid attack in the U.S. could cost up to a $1 trillion in a most severe circumstance.
ACROSS THE POND
The UK government unveiled plans for new legislation that would force firms to better protect connected devices from cyberattacks. The new law would establish a voluntary labeling scheme to assess the security of products and ensure manufacturers create unique passwords for all devices, provide a public point of contact for vulnerability disclosure, and state the minimum period during which they will offer security updates. This would apply to all IoT devices from smart toys to kitchen appliances. Why is this important? Remember GDPR started in Europe and then privacy legislation came to California. We’ll keep an eye out.
Making Our Way Around the Country
The Department of Labor (DL) issued an opinion letter stating that an on-demand company that appears to provide a cleaning service is correct to classify its workers as independent contractors rather than employees. The DOL defined “virtual marketplace companies” as an online or smartphone-based referral service that connects service providers to end-market consumers, providing services such as transportation, cleaning, and household services. The guidance adds weight for ride-sharing companies, which face multiple lawsuits accusing them of wrongly classifying workers as independent contractors. The guidance also confirms employers should use the six-factor test to determine employment status under FLSA.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the availability of $10.5 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants for nonprofit organizations, including community and faith-based organizations, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, Indian tribes, and colleges and universities. The training program supports in-person, hands-on training for workers and employers in small businesses; industries with high injury, illness and fatality rates; and vulnerable workers. The grants will fund training and education to help workers and employers identify and prevent workplace safety and health hazards. Harwood applications must be submitted by July 2, 2019.
The Trump administration announced plans to rollback offshore-drilling safety regulations imposed under the Obama administration after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 people and was the worst offshore oil disaster in U.S. history. The Trump administration and oil industry say the revised rule preserves 80% of the Obama-era regulation and would save businesses over $1.5 billion over the next 10 years.
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees. The National Safety Stand-Down is this week and raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries. A voluntary event for employers, a safety stand-down allows employers to talk directly to employees about safety. We support #StandDown4Safety and want all employees to keep safe.