Watch out Burdens for businesses may skyrocket if EEOC rule moves forward - thumbEntrepreneurs who bootstrap their businesses are faced with many challenges. For the talented, the timely, and the fortunate, their businesses will grow; in time, red ink will turn to black, and the need to hire new employees will arise. 

But the challenges of a startup are different from those of a company on-the-grow. Employers who hit certain employee benchmarks are challenged with compliance in the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Affordable Care Act (to name a couple). And for those companies fortunate enough to grow their workforce north of 100 employees, another agency comes looking for a rather burdensome employee report.

The EEOC & You

Currently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires employers of 100-plus employees to submit an extensive report that requires 180 data points for all employees. However, the EEOC wants to significantly expand this report.

Unless legislation is passed to stop the new requirements, employers will have to submit 3,660 pieces of information for each employee—which is about 20 times the current standard. Clearly, many in the business community are concerned: It is estimated that this rule would affect at least 61,000 private employers and 63 million workers.

Is EEOC reform on the horizon?

On June 15, 2016, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), who chairs the Senate Labor Committee, filed the EEOC Reform Act. The EEOC Reform Act would require the EEOC to calculate the cost of imposing its own rule on the federal government. Proponents hope once the EEOC has a better awareness of the burdens, there will be a more clear-eyed view of the impact on the business community.

Alexander said the EEOC initiative is “especially ironic that the rule has been submitted for review under the Paperwork Reduction Act.” To add fuel to the EEOC opposition’s fire, there is a claim that the EEOC has more than 76,000 unresolved workplace discrimination cases. Additionally, the Senate is reportedly considering an appropriation rider to delay or prohibit the new EEO-1 form.


Whether or not passage of this bill would change the focus of the EEOC remains to be seen. However, one thing is for certain—the current burden still remains. And for those employers who work with Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), which take the lead in this process, the annual task is always more seamless. The seams, however will be much larger to mend if the EEOC is able to move forward with these new rules.

If the current course holds, the first report under the new rules will be due in September 2017. For those employers with more than 100 workers, this is one for which they should definitely stay tuned.