Alexander Commends Administration for Rescinding Obama-era Mandate to Increase by 20-fold Employee Data Required From 61,000 Private Employers

Alexander recently urged the Office of Management and Budget to rescind the mandate

WASHINGTON, August 29 — Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement after the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) rescinded an Obama-era Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) data collection mandate to increase by 20 times the employment data it currently collects from each of the 61,000 private employers on their 63 million employees.

“This agency is supposed to be protecting American workers from discrimination. Instead the EEOC came up with an absurd mandate forcing employers to submit new pay data on 63 million private sector employees,” said Senator Alexander. “The Trump Administration has done the right thing today so EEOC can think critically about what data it should require of employers and begin to work through its backlog of more than 73,000 unresolved complaints of discrimination.”

Initially, the EEOC required employers with 100 or more employees to submit to the agency 180 different pieces of information about those employees each year. Under the Obama-era mandate, that number would have increased by 20 times, from 180 to 3,660 for each employer’s establishment.

Alexander in 2014 released a staff report that found EEOC 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 73,000.

Earlier this year, Alexander sent a letter to OMB urging the agency use its statutory authority to reverse the misguided mandate which increased by 20 times the employment data the commission currently collects from each of the 61,000 private employers on their 63 million employees. Last Congress, Alexander sent a similar letter with Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).

Last Congress, Alexander also introduced legislation to require the EEOC to calculate the cost of imposing its own mandate on the federal government so that the EEOC would better understands the burden the mandate adds to private employers. The bill would have required the EEOC to reduce its previous backlog from 76,000 unresolved complaints—before it could impose the updated data collection mandate.