I have written here before that all the free time I used to invest thinking about how to improve my business has been spent over the last 4-5 years solely on figuring out how to comply with new government regulations. We are still trying to figure out the ins and outs of required Obamacare reporting, we have no idea yet how we are going to comply with new rules turning all of our salaried managers into timeclock punchers, and now there is this:
On the anniversary of President Barack Obama signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has announced proposed changes to its EEO-1 report, requiring employers to submit employee W-2 earnings and hours worked. All employers with at least 100 employees would be required to comply. EEOC and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) would jointly have access to the pay data for enforcement purposes.
While the Obama Administration’s January 29 statement announcing the proposal focused mainly on the gender “pay gap” as the basis for the new requirements, the proposed changes will mandate submission of pay data broken down by race/ethnicity, in addition to gender.
For the past few years, at the President’s direction, EEOC and OFCCP have sought to develop a reporting tool that would require employers to submit pay data on employees nationwide so the agencies can target investigations to address the gender “pay gap.” This proposal is the culmination of that effort.
The proposed rule will be published on February 1 and interested parties will have 60 days to submit comments.
Forget for a moment that the whole purpose of this rule is to provide litigation attorneys a database they can mine to legally harass businesses. The reporting requirements here are incredibly onerous. It takes the current EEO-1 (the annual exercise where we strive for a post-racial society by racially categorizing all of our employees) and makes it something like 15-20 times longer. In addition, rather than simply "count" an employee as being on staff in a certain race-gender category, we now have to report their income and hours worked. Either I will have to hire staff just to do this stupid report, or I will again (like with Obamacare) have to pay a third party thousands of dollars a year to satisfy yet another government reporting requirement. This is utter madness.
Get this -- the report has 3600 individual cells that must be filled in. And this is in addition to the current EEO-1 form, which also still has to be filled out. The draft rule assumes 6-7 hours per company per year for this reporting. They must be joking.
In the past, I have merely asked each local manager to tell me how many folks they have in each racial category. Now, I am going to have to put everyone's race and gender into the payroll system -- there is no other way to do this. And by the way, I just checked. I have a very capable payroll company and I don't see any way to report wages and hours by race.
Congratulations Obama Administration, but I believe you have made me a Republican voter in the next Presidential election. I have not voted for a Republican for President since George HW Bush, generally voting for whatever libertarian candidate is present. For a while, particularly when one compared GWB to Bill Clinton, Republicans just were not that much better on economic issues than Democrats and they were terrible on social issues and things like immigration. Now I am going to have to hold my nose on all that stuff and become a one-issue voter like my wife (she votes solely on abortion availability) and vote solely for people who have some prospect of not larding on more of this kind of crap. And while I don't know the R's very well, for sure Hillary and Bernie will just be more of the same.
Update: More here from the same source, who has the same observations about what a joke the administrative burden calculations are that I had.