EEOC’s Data Collection Proposal Won’t Address Unlawful Pay Discrimination, SHRM Testifies

Diversity and inclusion executive calls proposal to collect pay data burdensome and says there are legitimate reasons for differences in pay

Mar 16, 2016
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) applauds the desire to prevent discriminatory variations in pay, but data that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) wants to collect from employers will not identify unlawful pay discrimination, an HR executive testified today.

Appearing before an EEOC hearing on its proposal to collect compensation data, Janese Murray said the EEOC should not expand the EEO-1 form to collect data on pay and hours worked.

“Collecting pay data in the highly aggregated manner proposed will not help identify unlawful pay discrimination,” said Murray, vice president of diversity and inclusion at Exelon Corporation.

Speaking on behalf of the more than 275,000-member SHRM, Murray described an already laborious process of collecting and reporting data on employees in specific job categories by race, sex and ethnicity under the current EEO-1.

She said the burden of adding pay data will be far greater than what the EEOC has estimated. “Adding salary data and hours worked will only add time and cost to this effort — well beyond an additional few hours, particularly since many employers don’t have EEO-1 and payroll data in the same system.”

Murray, of Baltimore, said pay is a key aspect of an employer’s talent management strategy with location, industry, competition and demand all influencing compensation.

“Over time, pay is increasingly influenced by an employee’s chosen career path — previous jobs, experience, education, performance and geographic locations along with level of responsibility,” she said. “From the HR perspective, these factors provide a legitimate basis for differences in pay among employees doing similar work.”  

She highlighted the need for greater workplace flexibility to attract diversity in all job and pay levels. “The current national discussion on pay equity is important and one that many of us relate to on a personal level,” she said. 

Full testimony is available at https://www.shrm.org/Advocacy/PublicPolicyStatusReports/Courts-Regulations/Documents/SHRM%20Murray%20EEO%201.pdf

MEDIA: For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Kate Kennedy at Kate.Kennedy@shrm.org and 703-535-6260 or Vanessa.Gray at Vanessa.Gray@shrm.org and 703-535-6072. 

About the Society for Human Resource Management

Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit us at www.shrm.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SHRMPress.

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