EEOC Urged To Include Older Workers In Annual Employer Data Collection Program
The EEOC requires private employers to annually report pay data broken down by race/national origin and sex and job category, but it excludes other protected groups, including older workers.
A panel of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has recommended the EEOC expand its EEO-1 employer data collection program to include wages and hours worked by older workers.
The EEO-1 program requires private sector employers with 100 or more employees and certain federal contractors to submit demographic workplace data annually to the agency broken down by race/ethnicity and sex and job category. The data is used to detect illegal discrimination. For example, an inference of discrimination could arise if an employer reports that 16 of its 17 black employees work in the lower-paid jobs or as janitors.
A fifth of all discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC involve claims of age discrimination but the agency does not require employers to submit wage data for this cohort. The EEOC in 2015 ignored my call to collect EEO-1 data on age to combat epidemic age discrimination in certain sectors of the U.S. economy.
It’s an open secret that some U.S. employment sectors are virtual apartheid sectors for younger workers, such as tech and sales.
The national panel also recommends the EEOC collect data for two other protected groups that are excluded from the data collection program, the disabled and veterans.
A spokesperson for the EEOC said Friday (1/13/23) that the agency “will use the National Academies report to guide its approach to any future pay data collection.” But first, she said, the agency will “seek and carefully consider the views of employees, employers, unions and members of the public.”
The panel’s report is yet more evidence of the EEOC’s historic failure to vigorously enforce the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.