ACTION ALERT: March 31, 2021 deadline for employee pay reporting fast approaching

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Certain employers now have a new reporting requirement in California and the deadline is the end of this month. A new law passed in 2020, SB 973 (codified as Government Code section 12999), requires that certain private employers report pay and hours-worked data by establishment, job category, sex, race and ethnicity to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) by March 31, 2021. This is an annual requirement meant to encourage employers to review, consider, and correct their pay disparities. This law also authorizes the DFEH to enforce the Equal Pay Act (Labor Code section 1197.5) which prohibits unjustified differences in pay between races, genders, etc.

Who does this apply to?

This applies to employers with 100 or more employees, at least one of whom is in California. If you have multiple dealerships, each of which is its own entity, you are not out of the woods on this one if you have 100 or more employees across multiple dealerships. Multiple-establishment employers must report all of their establishment-level data in a single report. DFEH does not permit employers to submit what is known in the federal EEO-1 survey as a “Type 6” list of establishments of fewer than 50 employees. Multiple-establishment employers will be submitting a single report containing all establishment-level data and will not submit consolidated data.

Where do I start?

The DFEH recently published FAQs and issued a page with guidance on the online submission portal, as well as an excel template for reporting. For the online submission portal, user guide to the portal, and the template that employers can use to create their reports, visit the California Pay Data Reporting page. Employers must use the online portal to submit their pay data report either by uploading an Excel or .CSV file using DFEH’s template (suggested method) or by using the portal’s fillable form.

Don’t Delay

If the DFEH has not received a required report by the deadline, it “may seek an order requiring the employer to comply with [California’s pay data reporting] requirements and shall be entitled to recover the costs associated with seeking the order for compliance.” Gov. Code § 12999(h). Employers can ask the DFEH to defer seeking such order, but only if they fill out the online request form and provide a reason for the same before March 31, 2021. The deferral provides one extra month, until April 30, 2021, to report. This provision is likely for 2021 only, due to the pandemic and the newness of this requirement.