HR News Beat: EEOC Pay Data Collection Deadline is September 30

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In HR news, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission must collect employee pay data by the end of September, allegations of retaliation are being leveled against Google over its handling of sexual harassment claims and California is one step closer to becoming the first state to ban discrimination based on hairstyles.


September 30 deadline set for Pay Data Collection by EEOC

The EEOC has until September 30 to collect pay data from employers.  That’s a ruling from Judge Tanya Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  That pay data must be sorted by race, ethnicity and sex.

According to SHRM, the National Women’s Law Center and other plaintiffs filed the lawsuit against the agency asking it to resume collecting two years of data.  The government stopped the collection in 2017.

As a result of the ruling, employers must submit the data to the EEOC by the September 30 deadline.  The EEOC must also resume its normal collection.  The judge gave the agency two options as to how to proceed.  Either the EEOC must:

  • Submit 2017 pay data along with the 2018 pay data by September 30 or
  • Submit the 2019 pay data along with the 2020 data during the appropriate reporting period.

The EEOC had until May 3 to make a decision.


Google Accused of Retaliation Against Employees

Allegations of retaliation are being leveled against Google.  Two employees of the tech giant say the company retaliated against them after they organized an employee-led walkout in November.  During that event approximately 20,000 Google employees protested how the company has handled sexual harassment claims as well as equity and transparency.

Fortune reports it obtained an internal letter written by employees Meredith Whittaker and Claire Stapleton.  In the letter, the two detailed how Googled has allegedly pushed back against their efforts. 

Whittaker says the company shut down its artificial intelligence ethics council in earlier this month.  The reason given was employees complained “against the inclusion of the president of conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, citing what they described as her vocally anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-immigrant views.’  As a result of the council disbandment, Whittaker says the company told her that her role would be changing and that she would have to stop working on AI ethics and other related projects.

RELATED:  A Guide for HR and Sexual Harassment

Stapleton said Google demoted her in the months following the walkout.  She lost half her reports and a project previously approved was cancelled.  After she reported the instances to HR, Stapleton says her manager began to ignore her.  She says she was also told to take medical leave despite not being sick. 

Stapleton has since been reinstated to her previous position after her lawyer contacted the company and requested an internal investigation.

In a statement to Fortune, a Google spokesperson said, “We prohibit retaliation in the workplace, and investigate all allegations.  Employees and teams are regularly and commonly given new assignments, or reorganized, to keep pace with evolving business needs.  There has been no retaliation here.”

Stapleton and Whittaker, along with another group of employees, have scheduled a town hall on the issue.  It’s set for Friday, April 26.


Ban on Hairstyle Discrimination passes California Senate

A ban on hairstyle discrimination has advanced in the California Senate.  The legislative body voted 37-0 this week to approve a bill that would update the state’s anti-discrimination law.  If it becomes law, California would be the first state to ban racial discrimination because of hairstyles.  Examples would include braids or dreadlocks. 

Democratic Senator Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles said the bill challenges “eurocentric standards of beauty” as well as what is considered professional hairstyles.

According to NBC News:

“Federal and state laws ban discrimination based on religious hairstyles and head coverings. But federal courts have not extended those protections more broadly because of race, ruling that because hairstyle was a choice, companies could require workers to follow certain standards as a condition of employment.”