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Alexander Bill Would Subject Obama Administration to Same “Absurd” Data Collection Rule it Plans to Impose on 61,000 Employers

EEOC’s proposed rule increases by 20-fold the employee data required from employers

“This legislation would give the EEOC a dose of its own medicine.”

WASHINGTON, March 16 – The chairman of the Senate labor committee today introduced legislation to subject the Obama administration to its own proposal to increase by 20 times the employment data it currently collects from each of the 61,000 private employers on their 63 million employees.

The proposal by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the subject today of a public hearing.

Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said, “This agency is supposed to be protecting American workers from discrimination. Instead it’s coming up with an absurd rule forcing employers to submit new pay data on 63 million private sector employees. This legislation would give the EEOC a dose of its own medicine--requiring them to collect the same data on federal employees, to see how much that costs in time and money before it makes that requirement of 61,000 private sector employers.”

Currently, the EEOC requires employers with 100 or more employees to submit to the agency 180 different pieces of information about those employees each year. Under the EEOC’s new rule, that number would increase by 20 times, from 180 to 3,660 for each employer’s establishment.

The EEOC Reform Act would require the EEOC to calculate the cost of imposing its own rule on the federal government so that the EEOC better understands the burden the rule adds to private employers.

Alexander noted that it’s “especially ironic that the rule has been submitted for review under the Paperwork Reduction Act.”

Alexander said what the EEOC should instead be doing is working through its backlog of more than 76,000 unresolved complaints of discrimination.

This new rule is likely to worsen that backlog, Alexander said, as the agency cannot handle its current complaints of discrimination and will now be sifting through the millions of pieces of new data.

Alexander in 2014 released a staff report on EEOC that found the agency was pursuing high-profile lawsuits without a complaint, while facing a backlog of almost 71,000 unresolved complaints of discrimination from individuals who filed charges (that number has since increased to more than 76,000).

This EEOC Reform Act would require the EEOC to reduce its backlog from 76,000 unresolved complaints to 3,660—the same number of unresolved cases as the number of data points required by the new EEOC rule—before it can impose the proposed rule.

Click here for a summary of the bill.

Click here for the bill text.


For access to this release and Chairman Alexander’s other statements, click here.