By Laurie Nooren, SPHR, PHRca, SHRM-CP

Senate Bill 973 was signed by the Governor on September 30, 2020.  The intention of this new reporting requirement is to assist the DFEH in identifying wage patterns and enforcing equal pay and anti-discrimination laws. 

The March 31, 2021 deadline to file the 2020 required pay data to the CA state DFEH is fast approaching.  (The 2019 and 2020 federal EEO-1 Component 1 Data collection report deadline was postponed due to COVID-19, and is scheduled to open April 2021. )  If you are a private employer with 100 or more employees (including full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal) in or out of California, you will now need to submit to the DFEH pay data reports with an abundance of information on your California employees,  including pay and hours-worked data by establishment, job category, sex, race, and ethnicity in addition to completing your EEO-1 report with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) (which will be AFTER you have to file the pay data information with the DFEH).  Don’t let this one sneak up on you!

On February 18, 2021 the DFEH announced they opened the Pay Data Reporting Portal.  You can access the portal here.  The report is very similar to the EEO-1 report that 100 + employee firms must already send to the EEOC annually. The new law notes that if the EEO-1 information is the same or substantially similar then that report will suffice to be sent to the DFEH.  However, since the pay data requirement (known as “component 2”) was removed from the federal EEO-1 report, the 2021 EEO-1 report will not be sufficient to submit to the DFEH to meet the state wage reporting requirements.  So get your 2020 W-2s and prepare to dive in. And you’ll need to have your EEO-1 info ready to go for the TBD deadline, presumably sometime in April 2021.

The report must include information on the number of employees by race, ethnicity, and sex in one of 10 job categories named.  Within this data employers must furnish annual W-2 earnings from Box 5 of the W-2.  Data is based on a single pay period of your choice between October 1 and December 31 of the “Reporting Year” (or the prior calendar year, so in this case, 2020).  You must report the number of employees whose W-2 earnings during the Reporting Year fell within each of the Bureau of Labor Statistics designated pay bands along with the total number of hours worked by each employee counted in each band. There is no indication that individuals’ names are to be included. 

The DFEH’s user guide (69 pages!) and excel template or CSV file to upload to the DFEH website can be found at https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/paydatareporting/. There are also some helpful FAQs at this link.  Ensure you keep the Submission ID given to you, in case you need to edit your report, or else you will need to start over.  If you have questions regarding your pay data reporting, you can email paydata.reporting@DFEH.ca.gov.

The precise opening date of the federal EEO-1 collection, as well as the new submission deadline date, will be announced by posting a notice on the EEOC’s home page at www.eeoc.gov as well as on the new dedicated website for the EEOC’s data collections at https://EEOCdata.org.  As in previous years, a notification letter will also be sent to eligible filers. Please visit https://EEOCdata.org  for more information regarding updates on the data collections.