Dept. of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH) Furnishes Guidance on SB 973 Compliance

Bryan Little,
Posted: Jan 15, 2021 Updated: Jan 17, 2021

The California Legislature passed SB 973 (Jackson) in 2020, becoming effective on January 1, 2021.  (See “California Passes Employer Pay Data Reporting Requirement” from Paul Hastings “Insights,” September 8, 2020; 

The bill imposed new pay reporting on some larger employers, including agricultural employers in the name of improving workplace gender pay equity.  SB 973 requires private employers of 100 or more employees who are required by federal law to file a Form EEO-1 with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to also submit a pay data report to DFEH each year by March 31.

It is unusual for agricultural employers to be required to file a Form EEO-1; employers must meet certain criteria to be required to file:

  • First, you must be covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; to be subject to Title VII, you must employ 15 or more persons on each working day on each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding year.
  • Second, if you meet the first test, you must file an EEO-1 if you either:
    • Have 100 or more employees or;
    • Are a federal contractor with 50 or more employees and have a contract worth $50,000 or more.

If you are required under these criteria to file a Form EEO-1, SB 973 requires you to further file with DFEH:

  • The number of employees by race, ethnicity, and sex in each of ten broad job categories; and
  • The number of employees by race, ethnicity, and sex whose annual earnings (defined as W-2 income) fall within each of the pay bands established by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Occupational Employment Statistics survey.

DFEH recently published additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) ( on its website on compliance with these new reporting requirements.  Unfortunately, those FAQ do not address whether an employer must file information on employees that may work in states other than California, or employees working in California for employers headquartered in another state.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact us at 800-753-9073 or


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