© 2021 American Payroll Institute, Inc. APA Asks Texas Workforce Commission for Opportunity To Collaborate on Pay Data Collection The APA requested an opportunity to collaborate with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to implement H.B. 3767, which was signed by the governor in June, and will enhance employers’ quarterly wage information reporting. The reporting is intended to track the careers of individuals who attended Texas’ education programs. The APA raised concerned about the transition to any new or expanded reporting process and its potential effect on existing employer and state systems. TWC’s response TWC Director of Information, Innovation, and Insight Adam Leonard responded to APA. He said, “As you know, the bill does require consultation with employers, particularly on identifying ‘other important employment information that would improve the state’s labor market information.’ We appreciate the perspective and concerns you will bring to the conversation about how TWC should approach this.” Leonard said the TWC has received many concerns about the amount of data, cost of changes, quality of the data, potential implications of strict data validation, and edits, and he plans to address these concerns during the implementation process. He said the TWC is in the early stages of developing a plan for engagement with employers and other stakeholders to gather input and, ideally, reach consensus on a balanced approach. APA’s concerns H.B. 3767 §3, which amends the Texas Labor Code to add §204.0025, states that the intent of the legislature is for the TWC to “work with employers to enhance the reporting of employment and earnings data by employers to the commission as part of an employer’s routine wage filings.” Payroll professionals have extensive experience in reporting wage and other payroll information to every state workforce agency across the U.S. As such, APA said, it may be difficult for every employer, especially small businesses, to assign accurate occupation codes to every employee and to maintain them, as well as to collect and track data, such as wages, on individual employees (i.e., those who have engaged in or completed career education and training programs). Yet, without extraordinary attention to these points, any new labor market information data as envisioned in H.B. 3767 could be flawed and misleading. In addition, APA members are concerned about the mechanics of processing and acceptance of otherwise-valid wage reports. Decisions concerning validation, such as what data conditions might warrant rejection of an employer’s entire wage report, are critical. APA Meets With Illinois DOL on Equal Pay Reporting The APA wrote to the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) on August 31, 2021, requesting an opportunity to collaborate with IDOL regarding provisions in S.B. 1480 (Pub. Act 101-0656), as revised by S.B. 1847 (Pub. Act 102-0036), that amend the Equal Pay Act of 2003 to add equal pay registration certificate requirements. The IDOL accepted APA’s request and met with APA staff and Government Relations Task Force members on September 15. Below is a summary of our discussion. Due dates and programming Employers will receive notices from IDOL of when they must begin registering, which will be in a range between March 2022 and March 2024. The public law does not provide further detail on the registration phases. The APA expressed that March 2022 may not afford sufficient time to make software changes and to collect the necessary employee data. Generally, the payroll industry needs a minimum of six months after final specifications are published to implement programming. Six months is typical for relatively routine changes, such as revisions to existing forms, such as Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, or wage reporting. If there are new elements needed or if employers must gather additional information (i.e., any missing elements), a year or more may be needed, APA said. Programming changes cannot begin before IDOL has provided draft specifications and details on what is to be reported. Additional information deemed necessary During the meeting, APA asked about the clause in the public act, “any other information the Department deems necessary to determine if pay equity exists among employees….” APA’s concern regards the uncertainty of this language. The IDOL responded that the intent of the clause was to avoid the need for subsequent legislation to add other elements but that the agency has no immediate plans to require data beyond those specifically listed in the public act. Specific reporting requirements Gender. The Illinois law requires employers to submit to IDOL the latest copy of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) EEO-1 report, which is a mandatory annual October 2021 A Supplement to Payroll Currently, Issue 10, Volume 29
Next Page